Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Reliability of the Berg Balance Scale and Balance Master Limits of Stability Tests for Individuals with Brain Injury

Newstead, Ann H. , PT1; Hinman, Martha R. , PT2; Tomberlin, Jo Ann , PT3

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: March 2005 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 18–23
doi: 10.1097/01.NPT.0000282258.74325.cf
Research Article

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the test-retest reliability of 2 measurement tools used to examine balance in persons with brain injury.

Methods: Five participants (ages 20–32) were recruited from a transitional living facility in Galveston, Texas. Each participant performed the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Balance Master Limits of Stability Test (BMLOST) sequence in random order on the same day and 1 week later.

Results: The test-retest reliability for the BBS was excellent (ICC2,1 = 0.986). Reliability of the BMLOST ranged from poor for weight shifts (ICC2,1 = 0.228) to good, for movement time (ICC2,1 = 0.825) and path sway (ICC2,1 = 0.846).

Discussion: The BBS, a function based test, was found to have greater test-retest reliability than the BMLOST, a strategy level test. The scores of the BBS were high and may suggest the potential of ceiling effects.

Conclusion: Preliminary test-retest reliability for both the BBS and aspects of the BMLOST for persons with brain injury was demonstrated. The value of administering the tests in isolation or combination for patients with brain injury is yet to be determined.

1Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, San Antonio, TX (newstead@uthscsa.edu)

2Professor, Dept. of Physical Therapy, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX

3Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Medical Branch, School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Galveston, TX

© 2005 Neurology Section, APTA