Instrumented Static and Dynamic Balance Assessment after Stroke Using Wii Balance Boards: Reliability and Association with Clinical Tests

Background and Objectives

The Wii Balance Board (WBB) is a globally accessible device that shows promise as a clinically useful balance assessment tool. Although the WBB has been found to be comparable to a laboratory-grade force platform for obtaining centre of pressure data, it has not been comprehensively studied in clinical populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the measurement properties of tests utilising the WBB in people after stroke.

Methods

Thirty individuals who were more than three months post-stroke and able to stand unsupported were recruited from a single outpatient rehabilitation facility. Participants performed standardised assessments incorporating the WBB and customised software (static stance with eyes open and closed, static weight-bearing asymmetry, dynamic mediolateral weight shifting and dynamic sit-to-stand) in addition to commonly employed clinical tests (10 Metre Walk Test, Timed Up and Go, Step Test and Functional Reach) on two testing occasions one week apart. Test-retest reliability and construct validity of the WBB tests were investigated.

Results

All WBB-based outcomes were found to be highly reliable between testing occasions (ICC  = 0.82 to 0.98). Correlations were poor to moderate between WBB variables and clinical tests, with the strongest associations observed between task-related activities, such as WBB mediolateral weight shifting and the Step Test.

Conclusions

The WBB, used with customised software, is a reliable and potentially useful tool for the assessment of balance and weight-bearing asymmetry following stroke. Future research is recommended to further investigate validity and responsiveness.

via PLoS One.

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