Validity and Reliability of Dynamic and Functional Balance Tests in People Aged 19-54: A Systematic Review.

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Validity and Reliability of Dynamic and Functional Balance Tests in People Aged 19-54: A Systematic Review.

Lesch KJ, Tuomisto S, Tikkanen HO, Venojärvi M.



Evaluating an impairment in an individual’s capacity to maintain, achieve, or restore balance suggests a deficiency in postural control. For effective identification of individuals at risk for falls, balance assessment should exhibit reliability, validity, and ease of use. This systematic review concentrated on dynamic and functional balance assessment methods and their validity in healthy adults aged 19-54. The objective was to clarify the tools that health professionals can utilize to assess balance in this healthy population.

Methods: A systematic literature search conducted in August 2019 yielded nine articles meeting predefined selection criteria. Inclusion criteria required studies featuring healthy adult participants aged 19-54, published in English, and focusing on dynamic and functional balance testing. Exclusion criteria excluded studies involving participants with chronic diseases or musculoskeletal disorders, systematic reviews, professional athletes, and those lacking specific participant age information. The quality of the studies was evaluated using a modified PEDro scale.

Results: This review analyzed ten distinct postural balance tests. The Star Excursion Balance Test and Y-Balance Test exhibited moderate to high reliability, establishing them as dependable measures of dynamic balance. The Nintendo Wii Balance Board, Clever Balance Board, and Posturomed device also displayed excellent reliability for assessing dynamic postural balance. Comparing one-arm and two-arm functional reach tests, the one-arm reach test emerged as a more suitable option for evaluating dynamic balance among young adults. Moreover, an investigation comparing three dynamic balance tests (one-leg jump landing, Posturomed device, and stimulated forward fall) revealed a low correlation among these tests, indicating a measurement of different balance constructs.

Discussion: In conclusion, the Y-Balance Test stands out as the most practical dynamic balance assessment for clinical use, characterized by a standardized protocol, good repeatability, affordability, and ease of application. The Nintendo Wii Balance Board also presents itself as a cost-effective and reliable tool for dynamic balance evaluation in clinical settings. It is crucial to recognize that these tests appraise discrete postural skills, preventing direct comparisons between test outcomes. This review equips healthcare professionals with valuable insights into optimal balance assessment methods for the healthy, 19 to 54 aged population.

Levels of evidence: Level 3