A systematic review of the measures that have been used to assess surface characteristics in relation to their impact on walking and falling

Lawson, R., Thomas, N. D. A. (2023).

We investigated whether an impediment to progress in understanding the environmental factors that cause falls may be the difficulty in comparing results across studies because walking surfaces are poorly defined and underspecified. We conducted a systematic review of 384 studies from 370 articles that tested how different surfaces influenced human walking and falling. For each study we report which categories of surfaces were used (indoor, outdoor, treadmill, virtual reality and qualitative), the nature of each surface (stairs, slopes, slippery, compliant, rough or default) and how information about each surface was measured. We found that minimal information was provided for many surfaces, making it impossible to meaningfully compare results for different types of surfaces across studies. We conclude that most published studies of walking and falling provide insufficient data to describe the surfaces that they used and we provide recommendations about how to improve the reporting of walking surfaces.

Systematic Reviews, 12:155 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-023-02315-0