This objective information would eliminate the bias and recall problems people can display when answering surveys or self-reports about their activities, Berke said.
"The number one thing we heard from participants was not that the device was difficult to use -- what they talked about was how inconvenient and difficult the surveys were to fill out. But we can't draw a lot of conclusions about this. I think it shows promise . . . but to say this is better than surveys at this point is a stretch," he added.
Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, director of geriatric education at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, agreed with Berke's assessment and said she was concerned the small study size made it difficult to make recommendations about the use of the sensors.
"I think it's an interesting technology to see what kind of factors might influence overall quality of life," she said. "I would certainly question their attempt . . . I'm not sure you could statistically interpret this extremely small number."
The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging has a wealth of information for the elderly in dealing with doctors.
SOURCES: Ethan Berke, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and assistant professor, community and family medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, N.H.; Gisele Wolf-Klein, M.D., director, geriatric education, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; July/August 2011, Annals of Family Medicine
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