Objectives: To translate contents of the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale into Chinese (Cantonese), to examine the psychometric properties (internal reliability and validity) of this scale for use with Chinese older adults in Hong Kong, and to determine the level of self-perceived balance confidence of this population.
Design: A 2-phase exploratory study: formative qualitative research and a cross-sectional survey to establish the psychometric properties of the Chinese translated ABC (ABC-C) scale.
Setting: Community based.
Participants: One hundred older community-dwelling subjects.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measure: Measurement of perceived level of confidence in maintaining balance using the ABC-C scale. This instrument contains 16 items on indoor and outdoor activities requiring different levels of balance function.
Results: Four of the 16 ABC-C scale items had to be modified to achieve content equivalence and cultural relevance to Hong Kong. Final test items of this scale showed high internal consistency with a Cronbach alpha coefficient of .97. The instrument was found to have excellent test-retest and very good interrater reliability with intraclass coefficients of .99 and .85, respectively. Results of a factor analysis conducted on the scale showed evidence of a coherent 1-domain structure. The mean perceived balance confidence level +/- standard deviation of 100 community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong, performed by using the ABC-C scale, was 71.6+/-23.7.
Conclusions: Results of the present study verified that the ABC-C scale is a culturally relevant, valid, and reliable tool for measuring self-perceived balance confidence in Chinese older adults. These were reflected in very good to excellent internal consistency of items, test-retest and interrater reliability, and construct validity shown.