Berg Balance Scale (BBS) Evaluation Summary
|What does the tool measure?||Balance in older adults|
|What types of clients can the tool be used for?||The BBS was developed for use with community-dwelling elderly individuals. It can also be used in patients with stroke.|
|Is this a screening or assessment tool?||Assessment|
|Time to administer||Approximately 10-15 minutes to complete by direct observation.|
|Versions||Short form of the BBS (BBS-3P)|
|Other Languages||Translated and validated in Portuguese, French. Translated (not yet validated) in the following countries: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Korea, Japan, Spain, and Hong Kong and Germany.|
|Reliability||– One study has reported excellent internal consistency.
– Two studies have reported excellent inter-rater reliability.
– One study has reported excellent intra-rater reliability.
– One study has reported excellent test-retest reliability.
|Floor/Ceiling effect||Significant floor and ceiling effects have been detected in the BBS.|
|Sensitivity/ Specificity||No studies have reported on the sensitivity/specificity of the BBS with patients with stroke.|
|Does the tool detect change in patients?||One study reports general sensitivity to change and two studies report large responsiveness to change. Two studies indicate moderate responsiveness to change 6 weeks to 3 months post-stroke, but poor responsiveness following these times. One study reported a minimum absolute change score of 6 points represents genuine change.|
|Acceptability||This direct observation test is not suitable for severely affected patients as it assesses only one item related to balance while sitting. Active individuals will find it too simple. The scale is not suitable for use by proxy.|
|Feasibility||The BBS requires no specialized training to administer, however, the BBS should only be administered by individuals with knowledge on how to safely manage those with stroke as the BBS is a risky assessment where a patient could fall if not supervised by someone with stroke expertise. Relatively little equipment or space is required.|
|How to obtain the tool?||Click here to find a copy of the BBS.|