Reliability of 16 balance tests in individuals with Down syndrome

Percept Mot Skills. 2010 Oct;111(2):530-42. doi: 10.2466/


To assess test-retest reliability scores on 16 balance tests of 21 individuals with Down syndrome whose ages ranged from 5 to 31 yr., participants performed a standing test on firm and soft surfaces with the eyes open and closed, the balance subset of the Bruininks-Oseretsky test, full turn, timed-up-and-go test, forward reach, and sit-to-stand. Each participant completed all 16 tests twice in one day and then again on a subsequent day for a total of 4 sessions. The interclass reliability correlation coefficients (ICC) value for each measure of balance varied considerably by age and sex. Based on having an ICC > .50, only 3 tests were reliable in young males and young females, whereas 5 tests could reliably be used in adult females and 9 tests could reliably be used in adult males. The results of this study raise suspicions as to the reliability of tests commonly used to assess balance and differences in reliability due to age and sex. Results of balance tests should be interpreted with caution in males and females with Down syndrome across the age span.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome / psychology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Neurologic Examination / statistics & numerical data
  • Postural Balance*
  • Reaction Time
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensory Deprivation
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult