Sonification for Personalised Gait Intervention

Conor Wall, Peter McMeekin, Richard Walker, Victoria Hetherington, Lisa Graham, Alan Godfrey*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Mobility challenges threaten physical independence and good quality of life. Often, mobility can be improved through gait rehabilitation and specifically the use of cueing through prescribed auditory, visual, and/or tactile cues. Each has shown use to rectify abnormal gait patterns, improving mobility. Yet, a limitation remains, i.e., long-term engagement with cueing modalities. A paradigm shift towards personalised cueing approaches, considering an individual’s unique physiological condition, may bring a contemporary approach to ensure longitudinal and continuous engagement. Sonification could be a useful auditory cueing technique when integrated within personalised approaches to gait rehabilitation systems. Previously, sonification demonstrated encouraging results, notably in reducing freezing-of-gait, mitigating spatial variability, and bolstering gait consistency in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Specifically, sonification through the manipulation of acoustic features paired with the application of advanced audio processing techniques (e.g., time-stretching) enable auditory cueing interventions to be tailored and enhanced. These methods used in conjunction optimize gait characteristics and subsequently improve mobility, enhancing the effectiveness of the intervention. The aim of this narrative review is to further understand and unlock the potential of sonification as a pivotal tool in auditory cueing for gait rehabilitation, while highlighting that continued clinical research is needed to ensure comfort and desirability of use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2023

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