Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


MacDermid, Joy C


Shoulder disability or dysfunction can negatively affect different aspects of a patient’s life including their daily activities. To record shoulder movement data for addressing its dysfunctionality, valid assessment of motion is important. Wearable technologies have been more recently and offer advantages such as being lightweight, time efficient, usable at home, and user friendly. However, these new technologies have not been evaluated thoroughly in terms of validity and reliability. Combining multiple sensors provides the opportunity to evaluate more complex motions such as those that occur in the upper extremity. A custom motion shirt was designed for this purpose. The objective of this thesis was to validate the accuracy of wearable sensor-based motion shirt. To conduct this study, the performance of the motion shirt was compared to that of the Dartfish tool. First, 10 healthy participants without any shoulder disability aged 50 years old and over with English proficiency were hired. They were asked to perform standard FIT-HaNSA shoulder tasks while they wore motion shirt with active sensors recording the shoulder motions. While doing the tasks, they were also filmed to measure their shoulder movements in Dartfish video analysis software. In a few tasks, the motion shirt sensors did not record the motion data due to lack of continuous sensors synchronization. For 12 tasks that the motion shirt recorded the data successfully, the measured shoulder flexion-extension measures and the calculated shoulder ROFE, (Range of Flexion-Extension) were compared to those measured in Dartfish using Intraclass Coefficient Correlation (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots, respectively. ICC values were over 0.9 in 10 out of 12 tasks and about 0.8 or over in two of the tasks. These values showed a very good correlation between the motion shirt and Dartfish measurements of shoulder extension-flexion measurements in 10 tasks and a good correlation in two tasks. Bland-Altman plots demonstrated that the differences between the shoulder ROFEs (maximum angle subtracted by minimum for each of motions) calculated using motion shirt data and Dartfish analyses were often very similar and maximum 30 degrees different. This proved that motion shirt can be a valid tool for assessing shoulder ROFEs. Results showed that the designed motion shirt was as validate as the Dartfish motion analysis software in quantifying shoulder movements and can be considered a valid tool in this regard. However, further research is necessary to validate these findings and to conduct a more comprehensive assessment.

Summary for Lay Audience

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. Shoulder movement is important to many tasks of daily life. Measuring shoulder motion is important to understand shoulder function. Different tools and methods can measure shoulder motions. Some of these tools and methods are inside clinics and are not fast and comfortable for patients. This study evaluated the validity of a newly designed motion shirt that is comfortable to wear, can easily record shoulder motions in an automatic way, and can measure complex shoulder movements. Knowing the validity of the motion shirt is very important before it can be used in practice.

In this study, first, ten participants came to a clinic and wore motion shirt. Then they did some simple tasks by putting 1kg weights up and down on shelves. We measured their shoulder motion angles on a recorded video using Dartfish video analysis software. We also extracted the recorded shoulder angles from the motion shirt sensors and compared them with the angles measured using Dartfish software to find if the motion shirt recorded the data correctly.

To sum it up, the study discovered that the shoulder angles measured using the motion shirt closely matched those obtained through video analyses. This showed that the motion shirt is a valid tool, accurately recording shoulder angles. These results give us confidence in using the motion shirt to measure complex shoulder movements. This, in turn, allows patients to save time. The therapists can also have high-quality data for diagnosing and treating shoulder problems.

Available for download on Tuesday, December 31, 2024