Validity of six balance disorders scales in persons with multiple sclerosis

Disabil Rehabil. 2006 Jun 30;28(12):789-95. doi: 10.1080/09638280500404289.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to test concurrent and discriminant validity of several tests of static and dynamic balance in a sample of subjects suffering from MS.

Method: A group of 51 patients were enrolled in the study. The following tests were administered: Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), Hauser Deambulation Index (DI), Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), and Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC). The scales used in this study were initially translated into Italian.

Results: The sample of subjects reported a mean of 0.98 (1.8 SD) falls in the month prior to evaluation. The tests demonstrated good concurrent validity: Higher correlation coefficients among tests tapping the same aspect and lower correlation coefficients among tests tapping slightly different aspects. ABC and DHI tests discriminated better than the others between fallers and non-fallers and appeared the best predictors of fall status. BBS and DGI were not as efficient in discriminating between groups. Conversely all tests showed good difference validity in the prediction of patients who used an assistive device.

Conclusion: BBS, TUG, DI, DGI, ABC, DHI have acceptable concurrent validity. The scales have poor performance in discriminating between faller and non-faller.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vestibular Function Tests
  • Walking