The objective of this study was to determine whether individual Berg Balance Scale (BBS) items or a group of items would have greater accuracy than the total BBS in classifying community-dwelling people with stroke with a history of multiple falls. The subjects were 44 community-dwelling individuals with chronic stroke; 34 had one or no falls in the past six months, and 10 had multiple falls. Each BBS item was dichotomized at three points along the scoring scale of 0-4: between scores of 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4. Sensitivity (Sn), specificity (Sp), and positive (+LR) and negative (-LR) likelihood ratios were calculated for all items for each scoring dichotomy based on their accuracy in classifying subjects with a history of multiple falls. These findings were compared with the total BBS score where the cutoff score was derived from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.
The results showed that using selected items from the BBS may be more time efficient and accurate than the total BBS score for classifying people with chronic stroke living in the community with a history of multiple falls. Prospective study is needed to validate these findings relative to fall prediction.
Alzayer L, Beninato M, Portney LG. The accuracy of individual berg balance scale items compared with the total berg score for classifying people with chronic stroke according to fall history. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2009 Sep;33(3):136-43