The balance evaluation systems test (BESTest) to differentiate balance deficits

Fay Horak, Diane M. Wrisley, James Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

358 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Current clinical balance assessment tools do not aim to help therapists identify the underlying postural control systems responsible for poor functional balance. By identifying the disordered systems underlying balance control, therapists can direct specific types of intervention for different types of balance problems. Objective. The goal of this study was to develop a clinical balance assessment tool that aims to target 6 different balance control systems so that specific rehabilitation approaches can be designed for different balance deficits. This article presents the theoretical framework, interrater reliability, and preliminary concurrent validity for this new instrument, the Balance Evaluation Systems Test (BESTest). Design. The BESTest consists of 36 items, grouped into 6 systems: "Biomechanical Constraints," "Stability Limits/Verticality," "Anticipatory Postural Adjustments," "Postural Responses," "Sensory Orientation," and "Stability in Gait." Methods. In 2 interrater trials, 22 subjects with and without balance disorders, ranging in age from 50 to 88 years, were rated concurrently on the BESTest by 19 therapists, students, and balance researchers. Concurrent validity was measured by correlation between the BESTest and balance confidence, as assessed with the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale. Results. Consistent with our theoretical framework, subjects with different diagnoses scored poorly on different sections of the BESTest. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for interrater reliability for the test as a whole was 91, with the 6 section ICCs ranging from .79 to .96. The Kendall coefficient of concordance among raters ranged from .46 to 1.00 for the 36 individual items. Concurrent validity of the correlation between the BESTest and the ABC Scale was r=.636, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-498
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Therapy
Volume89
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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The balance evaluation systems test (BESTest) to differentiate balance deficits. / Horak, Fay; Wrisley, Diane M.; Frank, James.

In: Physical Therapy, Vol. 89, No. 5, 05.2009, p. 484-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Horak, Fay ; Wrisley, Diane M. ; Frank, James. / The balance evaluation systems test (BESTest) to differentiate balance deficits. In: Physical Therapy. 2009 ; Vol. 89, No. 5. pp. 484-498.
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