View Full Version : Re: Balance Assessment Survey

02-13-2008, 11:59 AM
Thank you to the 23 respondents who completed the Balance Assessment
Survey. I appreciate you taking the time to answer the 11 questions in
the survey. The results are in plain text in this posting.

Mary Pancake
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Question 1. Is your facility a lab or a clinic?
Response Percent Response Count
Lab 91.3% 21
Clinic 17.4% 4
Other (please specify) 4.3% 1

Other Responses:
In-patient acute care hospital

Question 2. What type of professionals work in your facility? Check all
that apply.
Response Percent Response Count
Researchers 95.7% 22
Therapists 69.6% 16
Other (please specify) 26.1% 6

Other Responses:
Undergraduate and graduate students

Question 3. What is the demographic of the patient or research population
at your facility? Check all that apply.
Response Percent Response Count
Elder falls 47.8% 11
Neurological disorders 47.8% 11
Vestibular disorders 21.7% 5
Orthopedic disorders 56.5% 13
Dizziness/disequilibrium 13.0% 3
Pharmacological 4.3% 1
Sports performance 47.8% 11
Other (please specify) 17.4% 4

Other Responses:
Mainly patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders
Children, pathological populations
Stroke, motor vehicle accidents. It is a rehabilitation hospital.
Healthy older adults

Question 4. What is the need for measuring and assessing balance at your
facility? Check all that apply.
Response Percent
Response Count
Identify a problem exists to predict a fall 39.1%
Determine the underlying cause in order to treat 47.8%
Determine if treatment has been effective 56.5%
Training (preventive or rehabilitation) 73.9%
Other (please specify) 13.0%

Other Responses:
Understanding the basic mechanisms of how people maintain balance
To study mechanisms behind balance control

Question 5. What method(s) are currently used to measure balance at your
facility? Check all that apply.
Response Percent Response Count
Functional tests 82.6% 19
Posturography 47.8% 11
Balance board 21.7% 5
Other (please specify) 52.2% 12

Other Responses:
Time to stabilization and DPSI
BESS and other sideline tests
Responses to perturbations
Specially designed algorithms to analyse data gathered with a 3D wireless
optoelectronic movement recording system
Tinette Scale, Berg Balance Scale
Force plates
Clinical balance tests, kinesthetic ability trainer, pressure
Force platform
Gait analysis, SOT test.
Ultrasound 3D; EMG; Accelerometry
3D kinematic and CoP displacements
Only recently begun to look at formal balance assessment in the lab

Question 6. What physical parameters are measured at your facility? Check
all that apply.
Response Percent Response Count
Postural stability 73.9% 17
Dynamic stability 69.6% 16
Gait 78.3% 18
Strength 78.3% 18
Reaction time 47.8% 11
Step time 60.9% 14
Step distance 56.5% 13
Limits of Stability 43.5% 10
Center of pressure 78.3% 8
Sway 69.6% 16
Angular velocity 52.2% 12
Other (please specify) 8.7% 2

Other Responses:
Reflexes, neurological tests, STAR
Endurance, gait speed

Question 7. What physical parameters and/or what features would be useful,
but current equipment does not offer that capability?

Response Count: 23
Nothing comes to mind
There is no short answer
Not sure what this question is asking. Does "current equipment" refer to
equipment which is available at my facility or equipment that is available
for purchase? I would like a measure of deviation of their gait path. I
would like to know the number of times someone lost their balance when
they are walking. I would like to know the variability of their stride
length. I would like an easily used COP measurement and a measure of how
well they control their cop.
It would be nice to get center of pressure from a force plate rather than
having to use special sensors.
Our equipment fulfils our requirements
Simple determination of rapid limb movement (proxy measure for muscle
Fear of falling /arousal component
Measure the center of pressure, or using force plates to better understand
the postural sway
Dynamic stability during gait
The current equipment I have does not permit perturbation studies, but I
know that equipment like that exists.
A comprehensive assessment tool which covers both static and dynamic
Hard to report as try to develop equipment or modify other equipment to
suit the needs of various projects.
Wireless, faster motion analysis and EMG system.
Spectral Analysis
It isn't about the equipment's capability - it's about portability,
simplicity of testing and simplicity of measurement to capture components
of balance during movement not just during static postures.
Unable to comment at this time

Question 8. Is there a need to control the type of fall instigation at
your facility (trip, slip, perturbation, etc)?
Response Percent Response Count
Yes 34.8% 8
No 65.2% 15

If yes, what type is preferred for the application? Why?:

We do all of these depending on the study
At the moment we are working with elderly at risk for falling. We
investigate the reaction after a trip. Moreover the detection of stumbles
in the field will be investigated, because fall related hospitalisation
costs a lot of money while a lot of elderly die after a fall.
Small angular and/or translational perturbations.
Depends on the project - trick shoes, altered surfaces, attentional focus
changes, etc
We use platform movements to instigate a perturbation as we can measure
the forces under the forceplate and also control the magnitude of the

Question 9. Is a single assessment method adequate or are multiple types
of assessment methods necessary to fully assess balance for the
applications at your facility?
Response Percent Response Count
Single 21.7% 5
Multiple 78.3% 18

No one test gives you the complete picture
Some tests are too advanced for some patients. Combination also useful
for clear picture of deficits.
Balance disorders and falls are multifactorial, and thus require multiple
assessment methods
Scales only give a subjective reflection of someone’s balance. More tests
will give more reliable results
We'd like to identify clinically relevant assessment methods but want to
be able to relate those to true functional balance which can't be assessed
in the clinic necessarily.
Again depends on the project and whether laboratory, clinical or field
based and the primary outcome variables
Reliability issues.
People present with different balance disorders that are unique.
Better understanding of system's behavior
Balance isn't only a static assessment of postural control - it includes
the ability to control the trajectory of the body during planned and
unplanned movement.
Unable to comment as we are only in the develop stage. Currently use
balance assessments [eg Berg] but goal is to use the Force Plate to
determine balance issues.

Question 10. What length of time (in minutes) is the typical balance
assessment session at your facility?
Response Count: 23

Depends on the tests used...try to keep it quick
30 - 180
1 hour
ca 45 minutes (many tests of 120 sec each)
20-30 min
90 minutes
20 minutes (balance test, gait test and scale)
10 min
30 minutes
Not sure
30 minutes
0,1 - 0,4

Question 11. Who performs the assessments in your facility? Check all
that apply.
Response Percent Response Count
Technician 17.4% 4
Therapist 69.6% 16
Clinician 30.4% 7
Researcher 82.6% 19
Graduate student 60.9% 14
Other (please specify) 8.7% 2

Other Responses:
Presently, we are doing preliminary work at collection of balance in
normals. We do not use the lab to formally assess balance in the clinical
setting. However, that is the goal.