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    Benefits, Challenges, and Potential Utility of a Gait Database for Diabetes Patients

    Brown, SJ, Boulton, AJM, Bowling, FL and Reeves, ND (2016) Benefits, Challenges, and Potential Utility of a Gait Database for Diabetes Patients. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 10 (5). pp. 1065-1072. ISSN 1932-2968

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    Gait analysis is a useful tool in understanding movement impairments, which impact on patient well-being. The use of gait analysis in patients with diabetes has led to improvements in health care including the treatment and prevention of ulceration and development of targeted exercise interventions. The current convention when analyzing gait is to address specific complications of diabetes, controlling for potential influencing conditions within a study sample to understand the effects of the few specific complications chosen for analysis. Databases allow for the storage of data in a structured format, allowing easy access to large quantities of data in a consistent, comparable manner. A database of gait analyses of patients with diabetes has the potential to include far greater sample sizes for statistical analyses, allowing multiple influencing factors to be assessed simultaneously, and relationships identified between multiple influencing factors. However, a database of this type would encounter ethical and methodological challenges in its implementation, which are discussed. This article introduces some of the potential benefits, challenges, and utility of a gait database for diabetes patients. We highlight that, whereas the creation of a database within this clinical population would be a complex process both ethically and practically, huge potential benefits could be gained, overcoming some of the limitations faced by traditional isolated gait analysis studies.

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