Organization news Highlights from the Rehabilitation Measures Database| Volume 94, ISSUE 1, P217-218, January 2013

Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the Berg Balance Scale Among Individuals With Stroke

      Balance impairments that result from stroke have been associated with fall risk and limited independence in activities of daily living and walking ability.1. 2. Approximately 50% to 70% of individuals fall within the first year after having a stroke, which frequently results in a hip fracture.1. 3. Because balance has a substantial impact on function for individuals poststroke, it is frequently assessed and treated during stroke rehabilitation. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is one of the most commonly used instruments to assess balance deficits during stroke rehabilitation; it assists in identifying individuals who are at risk for falls.4 This 14-item, public-domain test can be administered in less than 20 minutes using items commonly available in rehabilitation clinics. The BBS has excellent reliability and validity in acute and chronic stroke, and is feasible to administer in clinical settings. Minimal detectable change scores can assist clinicians in measuring improvements in balance as the result of treatment.
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