Three Days of Measurement Provide Reliable Estimates of Daily Tremor Characteristics: A Pilot Study in Organic and Functional Tremor Patients

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Background: Long-term tremor recording is particularly useful for the assessment of overall severity and therapeutic interventions in tremor patients. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the optimal number of days needed to obtain reliable estimates of tremor percentage, tremor frequency variability and tremor intensity in tremor patients using long-term tremor recordings.

Methods: Participants were 18 years or older and were diagnosed with tremor by a movement disorders specialist. Participants wore an accelerometer on the wrist of the most affected arm during 30 consecutive days. Tremor presence, frequency variability and intensity were calculated per day. We used reliability analysis to determine the minimum number of days needed to obtain reliable estimates of these tremor characteristics.

Results: Data from 36 adult organic (OrgT) and functional tremor (FT) patients (24 males; mean age 63.9 +/- 11.9 years; 15 FT) were analyzed. Using five hours per day, one day of measurement is enough, except for tremor frequency variability in the OrgT group, where three days are needed and for tremor intensity where two days are always needed.

Discussion: Visual analysis suggested that reliability can be increased considerably by using data from three days instead of one day even when using six hours of data per day. Three days with at least three hours of tremor data provide estimates of tremor percentage, frequency variability and intensity with good to excellent reliability, both for organic and functional tremor.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalTremor and other hyperkinetic movements (New York, N.Y.)
Publication statusPublished - 21-Apr-2021


  • tremor quantification
  • long-term accelerometry recording
  • reliability analysis
  • organic tremor
  • functional tremor

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