The Convergent Validity of the SWAY Balance Application to Assess Postural Stability in Military Cadets Recovering from Concussion.

Screenshot 2024-01-19 at 12.03.50 PM

The Convergent Validity of the SWAY Balance Application to Assess Postural Stability in Military Cadets Recovering from Concussion.

Dummar MK, Crowell MS, Pitt W, et al.

 

ABSTRACT

Background: Concussions are often accompanied by balance disturbances. Clinically accurate evaluation systems are often expensive, large, and inaccessible to most clinicians. The Sway Balance Mobile Application (SWAY) is an accessible method to quantify balance changes.

Purpose: To determine the known groups and convergent validity of the SWAY to assess balance after a concussion.

Study Design: Case-Control Study.

Methods: Twenty participants with acute concussion and twenty controls were recruited. At initial, one-week, and final return to activity (RTA) evaluations, all participants completed the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT-5), and balance control measured by SWAY mBESS and NeuroCom Balance Master Sensory Organization Test (SOT). Mixed model ANOVAs were used to detect differences in SWAY mBESS and NeuroCom SOT scores with time (initial, one-week, final RTA) as the within-subjects factor and group (concussed, healthy) as the between-subjects factor. Spearman’s Rho correlations explored the associations between NeuroCom SOT scores, SWAY scores, SCAT-5 symptom scores, and time in days to final RTA.

Results: The sampled population was predominantly male and age (20 ± 1), and BMI differences were insignificant between groups. The SWAY did not detect differences between healthy and concussed participants and did not detect change over time [F(2,40) = .114, p = 0.89; F(2,40)= .276, p =0.60]. When assessing the relationship between the SWAY and the SOT, no correlation was found at any time point (r = -0.317 to -0.062, p > 0.05). Time to RTA demonstrated a moderate correlation with both SCAT-5 symptom severity score (r = .693, p < 0.01) and SCAT-5 total symptom score (r = .611, p < 0.01) at the one-week follow-up.

Conclusion: The SWAY mBESS does not appear to be a valid balance assessment for the concussed patient. The SWAY mBESS in patients with concussion failed to demonstrate convergent validity and did not demonstrate an ability to validate known groups. When assessing the time to final RTA, the one-week post-initial assessment SCAT-5 symptom severity and total scores may help determine the length of recovery in this population.

Level of Evidence: Level 3

DOWNLOAD PDF

ACCESS ONLINE