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The reliability of postural balance measures in single and dual tasking in elderly fallers and non-fallers

Swanenburg, J. and Bruin, E.D. de and Favero, K. and Uebelhart, D. and Mulder, Th. (2008) The reliability of postural balance measures in single and dual tasking in elderly fallers and non-fallers. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 9(162). ISSN 1471-2474. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-162.


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Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of a forceplate postural balance protocol in a group of elderly fallers and non-fallers. The measurements were tested in single and dual-task conditions, with and without vision. Methods: 37 elderly (mean age 73 ± 6 years) community-dwellers were included in this study. All were tested in a single (two-legged stance) and in a dual-task (two-legged stance while counting backwards aloud in steps of 7's) condition, with and without vision. A forceplate was used for registering postural variables: the maximal and the root-mean-square amplitude in medio-lateral (Max-ML, RMS-ML) and antero-posterior (Max-AP, RMS-AP) direction, mean velocity (MV), and the area of the 95% confidence ellipse (AoE). Reliability of the test protocol was expressed with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), with 95% limits of agreement (LoA), and with the smallest detectable difference (SDD). Results: The ICCs for inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability of the balance variables were r = 0.70–0.89. For the variables Max-AP and RMS-AP the ICCs were r = 0.52–0.74. The SDD values were for variable Max-ML and Max-AP between 0.37 cm and 0.83 cm, for MV between 0.48 cm/s and 1.2 cm/s and for AoE between 1.48 cm2 and 3.75 cm2. The LoA analysis by Bland-Altman plots showed no systematic differences between test-retest measurements. Conclusion: The study showed good reliability results for group assessment and no systematic errors of the measurement protocol in measuring postural balance in the elderly in a single-task and dual-task condition.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-162
Institutes:Bureau KNAW
ID Code:5512
Deposited On:06 Jan 2010 15:47
Last Modified:13 Oct 2010 22:39

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