Comparing the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale with the Mini-BESTest and Berg Balance Scale to assess postural control in patients with Parkinson disease

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Feb;96(2):218-25. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.09.002. Epub 2014 Sep 28.


Objectives: To validate the Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) Scale for patients with idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD); and to compare the FAB Scale with the Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS).

Design: Observational study to assess concurrent validity, test-retest, and interrater reliability of the FAB Scale in patients with PD and to compare the distribution of the scale with the Mini-BESTest and BBS.

Setting: University hospital in an urban community.

Participants: Patients with idiopathic PD (N=85; Hoehn and Yahr stages 1-4).

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: FAB Scale, Mini-BESTest, BBS, timed Up and Go test, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, and visual analog scale.

Results: Interrater (3 raters) and test-retest (3±1 d) reliability were high for all scales (ICCs≥.95). The FAB Scale was highly correlated with the Mini-BESTest (Spearman ρ=.87) and timed Up and Go test item of the Mini-BESTest (Spearman ρ=.83). In contrast with the BBS, the FAB Scale and Mini-BESTest have only minimal ceiling effects. The FAB Scale demonstrated the most symmetric distribution when compared with the Mini-BESTest and BBS (skewness: FAB scale: -.54; Mini-BESTest: -1.07; BBS: -2.14).

Conclusions: The FAB Scale is a valid and reliable tool to assess postural control in patients with PD. No ceiling effect was noted for the FAB Scale. Although the items of the FAB Scale are more detailed when compared with the Mini-BESTest, interrater and test-retest reliability were excellent. The scale is a promising tool to detect small changes of the postural control system in individuals with PD.

Keywords: Parkinson disease; Postural balance; Posture; Rehabilitation; Reliability and validity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index