Background and Objective:
Reduced balance performance is among the most common consequences of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in women with breast cancer who receive taxane-based chemotherapy (TBC). We aimed to assess the responsiveness and interrater reliability of the short form of the Fullerton Advanced Balance (SF-FAB) scale in monitoring the balance status of women with breast cancer following a cycle of TBC and the scale's potential to detect balance changes in these people.
In this measurement-focused study, 33 women diagnosed with breast cancer were recruited. After baseline assessments of the SF-FAB and the Revised and Shortened Total Neuropathy Score (TNSr-SF) by 2 raters, participants received 6 to 10 sessions of TBC with a mean interval of 2.61 weeks. After cessation of the chemotherapy cycle, outcomes were reassessed. Twenty-eight participants with a mean age of 46.50 (10.46) years completed the trial.
After the interventions, the SF-FAB score decreased significantly (P = .02) and the neuropathy score increased significantly (P < .001), indicating lowered balance and aggravated neuropathy. This study showed excellent interrater reliability for the total score of the SF-FAB, before and after TBC (intraclass correlation coefficient(2,2) ≥ 0.90, 95% confidence interval = 0.96-0.99). The internal consistency of the scale was acceptable (Cronbach's α = 0.97) and a moderate negative correlation was observed between the SF-FAB and neuropathy scores (r = −0.63), which was statistically significant (P ˂ .001).
Reliable functional tests that are feasible and easy to apply, such as the SF-FAB scale, contribute to a quick screen of women with cancer who undergo TBC as a preliminary to further comprehensive assessments if necessary.