Balance error scoring system performance changes after a competitive athletic season

The authors conducted this study to examine the change in Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) performance following an athletic season. 58 college-aged females (23 soccer student-athletes, 16 volleyball student-athletes, and 19 recreationally active healthy college students) were recruited to participate in the study. The BESS test was given two times 90 days apart. For the student-athletes, the first test (PRE) was administered before the start of their athletic season and the second test (POST) was administered immediately after the season. For the recreationally active college students, the PRE test was at the beginning of the academic semester and the POST test exactly 90 days thereafter. Total BESS score at PRE and POST was compared with a 3 × 2 repeated measures analysis of variance. The overall change score and absolute value change score were also calculated and compared with a 1-sample t test to an expected change of zero errors. They did not have a group by time interaction; however, there was a main effect for time. There was a significant improvement (P = 0.003) between PRE (9.00 ± 2.97 errors) and POST (7.92 ± 2.78 errors) BESS performance. They found significant differences for both the overall change score (1.08 errors) and the absolute value change score (2.00 errors).

They concluded that in their study a clinically and statistically significant difference in BESS performance was identified after a 90-day intercollegiate athletic season.