Comparing Postural Stability Entropy Analyses to Differentiate Fallers and Non-fallers

Ann Biomed Eng. 2016 May;44(5):1636-45. doi: 10.1007/s10439-015-1479-0. Epub 2015 Oct 13.


The health and financial cost of falls has spurred research to differentiate the characteristics of fallers and non-fallers. Postural stability has received much of the attention with recent studies exploring various measures of entropy. This study compared the discriminatory ability of several entropy methods at differentiating two paradigms in the center-of-pressure of elderly individuals: (1) eyes open (EO) vs. eyes closed (EC) and (2) fallers (F) vs. non-fallers (NF). Methods were compared using the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristic curves developed from logistic regression models. Overall, multiscale entropy (MSE) and composite multiscale entropy (CompMSE) performed the best with AUCs of 0.71 for EO/EC and 0.77 for F/NF. When methods were combined together to maximize the AUC, the entropy classifier had an AUC of for 0.91 the F/NF comparison. These results suggest researchers and clinicians attempting to create clinical tests to identify fallers should consider a combination of every entropy method when creating a classifying test. Additionally, MSE and CompMSE classifiers using polar coordinate data outperformed rectangular coordinate data, encouraging more research into the most appropriate time series for postural stability entropy analysis.

Keywords: Approximate entropy; Composite multiscale entropy; Elderly; Entropy; Fallers; Multiscale entropy; RQA; Sample entropy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Entropy
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Postural Balance*