Mobile Romberg test assessment (mRomberg)

Galán-Mercant, Alejandro & Cuesta-Vargas, Antonio I. (2014) Mobile Romberg test assessment (mRomberg). BMC Research Notes, 7(1), p. 640.

View at publisher (open access)



The diagnosis of frailty is based on physical impairments and clinicians have indicated that early detection is one of the most effective methods for reducing the severity of physical frailty. Maybe, an alternative to the classical diagnosis could be the instrumentalization of classical functional testing, as Romberg test or Timed Get Up and Go Test. The aim of this study was (I) to measure and describe the magnitude of accelerometry values in the Romberg test in two groups of frail and non-frail elderly people through instrumentation with the iPhone 4®, (II) to analyse the performances and differences between the study groups, and (III) to analyse the performances and differences within study groups to characterise accelerometer responses to increasingly difficult challenges to balance.


This is a cross-sectional study of 18 subjects over 70 years old, 9 frail subjects and 9 non-frail subjects. The non-parametric Mann–Whitney U test was used for between-group comparisons in means values derived from different tasks. The Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test was used to analyse differences between different variants of the test in both independent study groups.


The highest difference between groups was found in the accelerometer values with eyes closed and feet parallel: maximum peak acceleration in the lateral axis (p < 0.01), minimum peak acceleration in the lateral axis (p < 0.01) and minimum peak acceleration from the resultant vector (p < 0.01). Subjects with eyes open and feet parallel, greatest differences found between the groups were in the maximum peak acceleration in the lateral axis (p < 0.01), minimum peak acceleration in the lateral axis (p < 0.01) and minimum peak acceleration from the resultant vector (p < 0.001). With eyes closed and feet in tandem, the greatest differences found between the groups were in the minimum peak acceleration in the lateral axis (p < 0.01). Conclusions

The accelerometer fitted in the iPhone 4® is able to study and analyse the kinematics of the Romberg test between frail and non-frail elderly people. In addition, the results indicate that the accelerometry values also were significantly different between the frail and non-frail groups, and that values from the accelerometer accelerometer increased as the test was made more complicated.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

31 since deposited on 12 Nov 2015
11 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 85572
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-640
ISSN: 1756-0500
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Galán-Mercant and Cuesta-Vargas
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2015 01:08
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 04:02

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page