Practicability and sensitivity to change of the activities-specific balance confidence scale and 12-item Walking Scale for stroke

Top Stroke Rehabil. 2012 Jan-Feb;19(1):13-22. doi: 10.1310/tsr1901-13.


Purpose: To investigate the practicability and sensitivity to change of the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC) and the 12-item Walking Scale (WS-12) in persons at different phases after stroke.

Method: A longitudinal data collection with repeated measurements at 0 to 14 days and 3 months post stroke combined with a cross-sectional approach for persons more than 1 year post stroke. The participants were 37 persons (median age, 79 years; interquartile range [IQR] 67-86) in the acute phase admitted to the University Hospital of Örebro (sample A) of whom 31 were measured at follow-up, and 67 persons at 4 primary care centers in Örebro County Council (median age, 68 years; IQR, 61-76) who were more than 1 year post stroke (sample B).

Results: The ABC registered balance confidence during activities and the WS-12 measured walking limitations as perceived by participants. The observed score range per item and for the total scores covered a wide range with no floor or ceiling effects. For the older persons in sample A, 3 ABC items requiring high balance levels were found difficult even before stroke. The item for running in the WS-12 was also often commented on as being not possible before stroke. The ABC showed moderate ability and the WS-12 showed good ability to measure change.

Conclusion: The scales are practical to use and sensitive to change for persons with remaining walking ability at different phases post stroke.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Psychometrics* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke* / diagnosis
  • Stroke* / physiopathology
  • Stroke* / psychology
  • Walking / physiology*