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Journal Article (Refereed)
January 2004

Reliability and validity of functional balance tests post stroke

Tyson, S & Desouza, L 2004, 'Reliability and validity of functional balance tests post stroke ', Clin Rehabil.


Objective: To contribute to the reliability and validity of a series of functional balance tests for use post-stroke Design: Within-session, test-retest and inter-tester reliability was tested using the kappa co-efficient and intra-class correlations. The tests were performed 3 times and the 1st and 3rd attempts compared to test the within-session reliability. The tests were repeated a few days later to assess test-retest reliability and were scored simultaneously by 2 physiotherapists to assess the inter-tester reliability. To test criterion-related validity the tests were compared with the sitting section of the Motor Assessment Scale, Berg Balance Scale and Rivermead Mobility Index using Spearman's rho. Setting: Stroke physiotherapy services of six National Health Service hospitals Participants: People with a post-stroke hemiplegia attending physiotherapy who had no other pathology affecting their balance took part. Thirty-five people participated in the reliability testing and 55 people took part in the validity testing. Main outcome measures: The following functional balance tests were used: Supported sitting balance, sitting arm raise, sitting forward reach, supported standing balance, standing arm raise, standing forward reach, static tandem standing, weight shift, timed 5m walk with and without an aid, tap and step-up tests. Results: The ordinal level tests (supported sitting and standing balance and static tandem standing tests) showed 100% agreement in all aspects of reliability. Intra-class correlations for the other tests ranged from 0.93-0.99. All the tests showed significant correlations with the appropriate comparator tests (r=0.32-0.74 p<0.05), except the Weight Shift test and Step-up tests which did not form significant relationship with Berg Balance Scale (r=0.26 and 0.19 respectively). Conclusion: These functional balance tests are reliable and valid measures of balance disability post-stroke.




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External Authors

DeSouza, LH

Publication Details

Journal Name
Clin Rehabil

Vol 18, Iss 8