Background: Tools to detect subtle balance deficits in high-functioning community-dwelling older adults are lacking. The Community Balance and Mobility Scale (CBM) is a valuable tool to measure balance deficits in this group; however, it is not yet available in the German language.
Objective: The aim was 1) to translate and cross-culturally adapt the CBM into the German language and 2) to investigate the measurement properties of the German CBM (G-CBM).
Material and methods: The original CBM was translated into the German language according to established guidelines. A total of 51 older adults (mean age 69.9 ± 7.1 years) were recruited to measure construct validity by comparing the G‑CBM against standardized balance and/or mobility assessments including the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale (FAB), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), 3 m Tandem Walk (3MTW), 8 Level Balance Scale (8LBS), 30 s Chair Stand Test (30CST), Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, gait speed, and the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). Intrarater and interrater reliability and internal consistency reliability were estimated using intraclass correlations (ICC) and Cronbach's alpha, respectively. Ceiling effects were calculated as the percentage of the sample scoring the maximum score.
Results: The G‑CBM correlated excellently with FAB and BBS (ρ = 0.78-0.85; P < 0.001), good with 3MTW, TUG, and FES-I (ρ = -0.55 to -0.61; P < 0.001), and moderately with 8LBS, 30CST, and habitual gait speed (ρ = 0.32-0.46; P < 0.001). Intrarater (ICC3,k = 0.998; P < 0.001) and interrater (ICC2,k = 0.996; P < 0.001) reliability, and internal consistency reliability (α = 0.998) were also high. The G‑CBM did not show ceiling effects.
Conclusion: The G‑CBM is a valid and reliable tool for measuring subtle balance deficits in older high-functioning adults. The absence of ceiling effects emphasizes the use of this scale in this cohort. The G‑CBM can now be utilized in clinical practice.
Keywords: Assessment; Elderly; Outcome measures; Postural balance; Translation.