Validity and reliability of balance assessment software using the Nintendo Wii balance board

A balance test provides significant information like the standard to judge a patient’s functional recovery or make the prediction of falls. The development of a tool for a balance test that is inexpensive and widely available is needed, especially in clinical settings. The Wii Balance Board (WBB) is designed to test balance, but there is little software used in balance tests, and there aren’t many studies on reliability and validity. Thus, the authors developed a balance assessment software using the Nintendo Wii Balance Board, investigated its reliability and validity, and compared it with a laboratory-grade force platform. Twenty healthy adults participated in our study. The participants participated in the test for inter-rater reliability, intra-rater reliability, and concurrent validity. The tests were performed with balance assessment software using the Nintendo Wii balance board and a laboratory-grade force platform. Data such as Center of Pressure (COP) path length and COP velocity were acquired from the assessment systems. The inter-rater reliability, the intra-rater reliability, and concurrent validity were analyzed by an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) value and a standard error of measurement (SEM). The inter-rater reliability (ICC: 0.89-0.79, SEM in path length: 7.14-1.90, SEM in velocity: 0.74-0.07), intra-rater reliability (ICC: 0.92-0.70, SEM in path length: 7.59-2.04, SEM in velocity: 0.80-0.07), and concurrent validity (ICC: 0.87-0.73, SEM in path length: 5.94-0.32, SEM in velocity: 0.62-0.08) were high in terms of COP path length and COP velocity.

The study examined the balance assessment software incorporating the Nintendo Wii balance board and it was found to be a reliable assessment device. In clinical settings, the device can be remarkably inexpensive, portable, and convenient for the balance assessment.