Balance self-efficacy and its relevance to physical function and perceived health status after stroke

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006 Mar;87(3):364-70. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2005.11.017.


Objectives: To estimate the level of balance self-efficacy among community-dwelling subjects with stroke and to determine the relative importance of balance self-efficacy compared with functional walking capacity in predicting physical function and perceived health status.

Design: Secondary analysis of baseline, postintervention, and 6-month follow-up data from a randomized trial.

Setting: General community.

Participants: Ninety-one subjects with a first or recurrent stroke, discharged from rehabilitation therapy with a residual walking deficit.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: The Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey physical function scale, and the EQ-5D visual analog scale of perceived health status.

Results: Average balance self-efficacy was 59 out of 100 points on the ABC scale (95% confidence interval, 55-64; n=89). After adjusting for age and sex, functional walking capacity explained 32% and 0% of the respective variability in physical function and perceived health status scores obtained 6 months later. After adjustment for age, sex, and functional walking capacity, balance self-efficacy explained 3% and 19% of variation in 6-month physical function and perceived health status scores, respectively.

Conclusions: Subjects living in the community after stroke experience impaired balance self-efficacy. Enhancing balance self-efficacy in addition to functional walking capacity may lead to greater improvement, primarily in perceived health status, but also in physical function, than the enhancement of functional walking capacity alone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Walking / physiology