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Re: Balance Assessment Survey

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  • Re: Balance Assessment Survey

    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.