How to measure balance in clinical practice. A systematic review of the psychometrics and clinical utility of measures of balance activity for neurological conditions

The objective of this study was to identify psychometrically robust and clinically feasible measurement tools of balance activity in people with neurological conditions to recommend for use in clinical practice.  Nineteen measurement tools were selected. Of these, the Brunel Balance Assessment, Berg Balance Scale, Trunk Impairment Scale, arm raise and forward reach tests in sitting and standing, weight shift, step/tap and step-up tests reached the required standards and are usable in clinical practice. The Brunel Balance Assessment and its associated functional performance tests have the additional advantages of being a hierarchical scale with established lack of redundancy.

The measurement tools identified are psychometrically robust and feasible to use in clinical practice. Future objective measure development should consider the theoretical construct of the measure, the minimal detectable change and use in clinical populations other than stroke.

Clinical Rehabilitation, 2009, 23(9), 824-840

Link to Abstract