Deric Brannan1, Ryan Z. Amick1

1Wichita State University, Wichita, KS

Balance is a complex multi-dimensional process, which allows for the maintenance of a specific posture/postures, while executing any number of different tasks. A commonly used balance evaluation is the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). The primary limitation of the BESS is subjectivity, relying on the knowledge and experience of the test administrator to correctly identify and score the balance errors. To address this limitation, it has been recommended that multiple test administrators concurrently score each subject’s assessment. This limits the practicality of the assessment as a clinical tool as multiple test administrators are rarely available for the assessment of a single subject. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine if BESS scores differ when the evaluation is performed in-person versus retrospectively with video playback in order to provide a practical alternative to in-person BESS tests. METHODS: Volunteers were informed of experiment procedures and completed an informed consent form approved by WSU IRB. Demographic data was then taken (19 healthy individuals, 9 males, 10 females, mean age 28 ± 5 years). Subjects were familiarized with BESS protocol and then performed the experimental trial. BESS consists of 6 20sec tests of 3 stances: bipedal, non-dominate single-leg stance, and tandem standing (heel-to-toe with non dominate foot in back). Subjects were positioned 13 feet away from the test administrator, and a video recording device recorded the BESS examinations. Scores were then taken again 1-2 weeks later from the video recordings. RESULTS: A paired sample t-test was conducted to compare the in-person BESS scores with the retrospective video analysis scores. There was not a significant difference between the in-person test (M = 11.89, SD = 6.57) and the retrospective video analysis (M = 11.32, SD = 5.43) scoring conditions; t(18) = 1.067, p = .2999. CONCLUSION: Although this pilot study was limited by a single experienced practitioner and small sample size the results suggests that scoring BESS tests from a retrospective video recording is a valid scoring condition, and a full study with multiple test scorers is currently underway.

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