eCite Digital Repository

A Stroop Stepping Test (SST) using low-cost computer game technology discriminates between older fallers and non-fallers


Schoene, D and Smith, ST and Davies, TA and Delbaere, K and Lord, SR, A Stroop Stepping Test (SST) using low-cost computer game technology discriminates between older fallers and non-fallers, Age and Ageing, 43, (2) pp. 285-289. ISSN 0002-0729 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1093/ageing/aft157


Background: impaired stepping and reduced cognitive functioning have both been identified as fall-risk factors in older people. We developed a Stroop Stepping Test (SST) that combines stepping and response inhibition using low-cost computer game technology to provide a functional measure that reflects real-life behaviour and determined whether this test discriminates between older fallers and non-fallers.

Methods: a cross-sectional study, including 103-independent living cognitively intact older people (70–93 years), was conducted. Participant were assessed on the SST and other outcome measures associated with fall-risk. The SST presented arrows on a computer screen with words written within them. Participants were asked to step in the direction indicated by the word and ignore the arrow orientation. Participants also reported whether they had fallen or not in the past 12 months.

Results: twenty-eight percent of participants reported falling in the past year. SST mean time per trial [OR: 1.72 (95% confidence interval 1.02–2.91) and SST errors (OR: 1.53 (1.14–2.07)] were associated with falls. After adjusting for other fall-risk factors in a multivariate logistic regression analysis, each error made during SST increased the odds of falling by a factor 1.7 [OR: 1.65 (1.17–2.34)].

Conclusions: this study shows the SST—a low-cost video game device—is feasible for older people to undertake. The SST was able to distinguish fallers from non-fallers, providing a novel way to explore cognitive mechanisms for fall-risk in older people.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accidental falls, assessment, stepping, executive function, inhibition, older people
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Smith, ST (Associate Professor Stuart Smith)
ID Code:89645
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2014-03-11
Last Modified:2015-02-12

Repository Staff Only: item control page