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The Devil's Advocate

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  • The Devil's Advocate

    Dear BIOMCH-L readers,

    About to leave for San Diego in order to partake in Prof. Sutherland & Prof.
    Perry's 5th Annual Workshop on Interpretation of Gait Analysis Data, two in-
    teresting journal issues appeared in my mailbox.

    1. Prof. R.H. Rozendal, Dept. of Functional Anatomy, Faculty of Human Move-
    ment Sciences, Free University, AMSTERDAM/NL and Editor of the (now fully
    English-spoken) Dutch "Journal of Rehabilitation Sciences", just published
    an intriguing article "Gait Analysis and ICIDH" in the September 1989 issue
    (Vol. 2, nr. 3, pp. 89-93), with the following summary:

    "The state of the art of gait analysis with respect to clinical
    applications is reviewed shortly. Results of analyses are worded
    not in ICIDH terms, but in terms of bones, joints and muscle groups.
    Problems in determining muscle functions are described. Speculations
    are made about future reconciliation between analysis and ICIDH on
    the level of impairments."

    ICIDH stands for "International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities,
    and Handicaps", World Health Organisation, Geneva/CH 1980. There is a Dutch
    version with additional information (and I assume also in other languages)
    from the "Werkgroep Classificatie en Coderingen, Nationale Raad voor de Gezond-
    heid, Zoetermeer/NL 1988" (Task-force Classification and Encoding, National
    Council for Health, Zoetermeer/NL 1988). Basically, the paper questions the
    anatomically-biased approach of contemporary, clinical Gait Analysis, and
    it closes with the following speculation:

    "Disabilities will be measurable in the future when researchers have
    developed new instruments of a more general character or even devel-
    oped from social sciences and not from biomechanics. But simple
    measurements of speed, range, endurance and other performance char-
    acteristics might be lent from excercise physiology. Studies of
    reliability and validity are a must.
    In these tests one has to search for adequate representation of
    walking ability over uneven surfaces, climbing stairs, negotiating
    standardized but realistic obstacles and capabilities to cover a
    variety of distances in adverse or unfavourable conditions. Calib-
    ration and canonization of common knowledge of practitioners is rec-

    Prof. Rozendal is one of the authors analysing Bernstein's work in H.T.A.
    Whiting (Ed.), "Human Motor Actions - Bernstein Reassessed", North-Holland,
    Amsterdam 1984 (Series Advances in Psychology, 17). At the end of his
    thought-provoking paper, Prof. Rozendal acknowledges "This paper would not
    have been written without the stimulating discussions with Gerrit-Jan van
    Ingen Schenau and Robert Wagenaar".

    2. Prof. Whiting's journal Human Movement Science has incorporated a new
    policy, by accepting publication of so-called "Target Articles of leading
    scholars in the field together with multi-disciplinary reactions to
    constitute an international forum". In the germinative issue (Vol. 8,
    Nr. 4, August 1989), Van Ingen Schenau has a paper "From rotation to
    translation: constraints on multi-joint movements and the unique action
    of bi-articular muscles", with reactions from, a.o., McNeill Alexander
    (Leeds/UK), Gielen (Nijmegen/NL), Newell (Urbana-Champaign/USA), and
    Winter (Waterloo/Canada). In combination, these papers are worth-while
    reading for anyone concerned with biomechanics and movement science in
    a clinical or other context.

    3. For those of you interested in Roentgenstereophotogrammetry it may be
    useful to know that Goeran Selvik's 1974 PhD-thesis has been republished
    as Supplementum no. 232, in vol. 60 (1989) of the Acta Orthopaedica Scan-
    dinavica, with a list of 92 publications in scientific journals over the
    period 1974-1988: "Roentgen Stereophotogrammetry: A method for the study
    of the kinematics of the skeletal system". He is with the Department of
    Anatomy, University of Lund, Biskopsgatan 7, LUND/Sweden.

    For any problems with BIOMCH-L, you may address either Ton van den Bogert
    or (after 2 October),

    Herman J. Woltring