Evaluation of dynamic balance among community-dwelling older adult fallers: a generalizability study of the limits of stability test

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Apr;82(4):468-74. doi: 10.1053/apmr.2001.21859.


Objective: To establish reliability estimates of the 75% Limits of Stability Test (75% LOS test) when administered to community-dwelling older adults with a history of falls.

Design: Generalizability theory was used to estimate both the relative contribution of identified error sources to the total measurement error and generalizability coefficients. A random effects repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess consistency of LOS test movement variables across both days and targets.

Setting: A motor control research laboratory in a university setting.

Participants: Fifty community-dwelling older adults with 2 or more falls in the previous year.

Main outcome measures: Spatial and temporal measures of dynamic balance derived from the 75% LOS test included average movement velocity, maximum center of gravity (COG) excursion, end-point COG excursion, and directional control.

Results: Estimated generalizability coefficients for 2 testing days ranged from.58 to.87. Total variance in LOS test measures attributable to inconsistencies in day-to-day test performance (Day and Subject x Day facets) ranged from 2.5% to 8.4%. The ANOVA results indicated that no significant differences were observed in the LOS test variables across the 2 testing days.

Conclusions: The 75% LOS test administered to older adult fallers on 2 consecutive days provides consistent and reliable measures of dynamic balance.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensation Disorders / physiopathology