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Relationships Among Measures of Balance, Gait, and Community Integration in People With Brain Injury

Perry, Susan B. DPT, PT, NCS; Woollard, Jason PhD, PT; Little, Susan MS, PT; Shroyer, Kathleen DPT, PT, CBIS

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP; Bogner, Jennifer PhD, ABPP

The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: March/April 2014 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 117–124
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3182864f2f
Original Articles

Objective: To examine the relationship among measures of gait, balance, and community integration in adults with brain injury.

Setting: Two rehabilitation hospitals.

Participants: Thirty-four community-dwelling individuals with brain injury, aged 18 to 61 years (mean = 32 years), who were able to walk at least 12 m independently or with supervision. Mean time post–brain injury was 52 ± 44 months.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Main Measures: Community Balance and Mobility Scale, Dynamic Gait Index, Ten-Meter Walk Test for gait speed, and the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ).

Results: Mean balance and gait scores were as follows: 54 ± 26 of 96 on the Community Balance and Mobility Scale; 19 ± 5 of 24 on the Dynamic Gait Index; and gait speed of 1.36 ± 0.88 m/s. Mean score on the CIQ was 16 ± 5 of 29. Correlations between the balance/gait measures and the total CIQ score ranged from 0.21 to 0.30 and were not significant. All 3 balance/gait measures correlated significantly with the CIQ Productivity subscale (range = 0.38–0.52).

Conclusions: The ability of people with brain injury to engage in work/school/volunteer activity may be reduced by impairments in balance and mobility. Future research should explore this relationship and determine whether interventions that improve balance and mobility result in improved community productivity.

Physical Therapy Program, Chatham University (Drs Perry and Woollard); HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital (Ms Little); and The Children's Institute (Dr Shroyer), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding Author: Susan B. Perry, DPT, PT, NCS, Physical Therapy Program, Chatham University, Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 (perry@chatham.edu).

This study was funded by the Chatham University Research Fund.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins