The purpose of this study was to establish the psychometric properties of clinical tests of balance and vestibular-related function in children with cerebral palsy (CP), aged 7 to 12 years, Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I to III.
Forty-two children with CP and 33 children with typical development were examined using Clinical Dynamic Visual Acuity Test, Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance, Head Impulse Test, Bucket Test, and Northeastern State University College of Optometry oculomotor test. A subgroup was tested twice for reliability. Reference tests included rotary chair and sensory organization test.
Most children with CP had central rather than peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Clinical tests except Northeastern State University College of Optometry oculomotor test had moderate to good reliability, good sensitivity but poor specificity to identify central vestibular-related impairments.
Tests of balance and vestibular-related function may help guide clinical management of children with CP.