Reliability of the Berg Balance Scale and balance master limits of stability tests for individuals with brain injury

J Neurol Phys Ther. 2005 Mar;29(1):18-23. doi: 10.1097/


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the test-retest reliability of 2 measurement tools used to examine balance in persons with brain injury.

Methods: Five participants (ages 20-32) were recruited from a transitional living facility in Galveston, Texas. Each participant performed the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Balance Master Limits of Stability Test (BMLOST) sequence in random order on the same day and 1 week later.

Results: The test-retest reliability for the BBS was excellent (ICC2,1 = 0.986). Reliability of the BMLOST ranged from poor for weight shifts (ICC2,1 = 0.228) to good, for movement time (ICC2,1 = 0.825) and path sway (ICC2,1 = 0.846).

Discussion: The BBS, a function based test, was found to have greater test-retest reliability than the BMLOST, a strategy level test. The scores of the BBS were high and may suggest the potential of ceiling effects.

Conclusion: Preliminary test-retest reliability for both the BBS and aspects of the BMLOST for persons with brain injury was demonstrated. The value of administering the tests in isolation or combination for patients with brain injury is yet to be determined.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postural Balance*
  • Rehabilitation / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results