Objective: To develop and evaluate the validity and reliability of a multidimensional balance scale-the Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) scale-suitable for use with functionally independent older adults.
Design: Psychometric evaluation of the scale's content and convergent validity, test-retest and intra- and interrater reliability, and internal rater consistency.
Setting: Urban community.
Participants: Forty-six community-residing older adults (mean +/- standard deviation, 75 +/- 6.2 y), with (n = 31) and without identified balance problems (n = 15), participated in the study. Four physical therapists with expertise in the assessment and treatment of balance disorders in older adults also participated in the content validity and/or reliability phases of the study.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Spearman rank correlation coefficients for convergent validity, test-retest, intra- and interrater reliability, and homogeneity coefficient values for rater consistency.
Results: Test-retest reliability for the total balance scale score was high (rho = .96). Interrater reliability for total score ranged from .94 to .97 whereas intrarater reliability coefficients ranged from .97 to 1.00. Homogeneity (H) coefficients were greater than .90 for 6 of the 10 individual test items and all 10 test items had H coefficients of greater than .75 for both rating sessions.
Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest that the FAB scale is a valid and reliable assessment tool that is suitable for use with functionally independent older adults residing in the community.