Clinical and laboratory measures of postural balance in an elderly population

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1992 Nov;73(11):1073-80.


The objective of this cross-sectional study was to compare scores on the Balance Scale with laboratory measures of postural sway and other clinical measures of balance and mobility. Thirty-one elderly subjects were assessed on the clinical measures and the laboratory tests of postural sway while standing still and in response to pseudorandom movements of the platform. The average correlation between the Balance Scale and the spontaneous sway measures was -.55. It was slightly lower (r = -.38) for the same parameters measured during the pseudorandom tests. There were high correlations between the Balance Scale and the Balance Sub-Scale developed by Tinetti (r = .91), Barthel Mobility sub-scale (r = .67), and timed "Up and Go" (r = -.76). The Balance Scale was the most efficient measure (effect size > 1) to statistically discriminate between subjects according to their use of each type of mobility aide (walker, cane, no aids). These data contribute to existing information on the performance of the Balance Scale and supports the validity of the Balance Scale in this geriatric population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Canes
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Male
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Walkers