Balance assessment using the balance error scoring system: 10 seconds versus 20 seconds evaluation time
Amick, Ryan Zackary
Stern, Danielle C.
Jansen, Samantha D.
Jorgensen, Michael J.
Patterson, Jeremy A.
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Amick, Ryan Zackary; Stern, Danielle C.; Jansen, Samantha D.; Jorgensen, Michael J.; Patterson, Jeremy A. 2014. Balance assessment using the balance error scoring system: 10 seconds versus 20 seconds evaluation time. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 46:no. 5:pp 695-695:Supplement: 1 Meeting Abstract: 2555
The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is a subjective clinical balance assessment frequently used by various healthcare providers. A test administrator records the number of pre-defined errors committed by the test subject as they perform a number of balance stances.The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is a subjective clinical balance assessment frequently used by various healthcare providers. The test consists of a total of three stances including bipedal standing (feet together), non-dominant single-leg stance, and tandem standing (heel-to-toe with non-dominant foot behind the dominant foot). Stances are first performed on a firm surface, and then on a compliant foam surface. For each 20 second trial, a test administrator records the number of pre-defined errors committed by the test subject. A total score is calculated by summing the total number of errors committed. A modified version of the BESS has also been developed. This version omits the stances performed on a foam surface. However, it is possible that a 10 second limit for each stance is sufficient time for balance assessment. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if 10 seconds for each balance stance provides adequate time for balance assessment using the modified BESS assessment. METHODS: 39 college age Division I athletes (20 male, 19 female; aged 19.5 + 1.5 years) performed a modified BESS assessment. Subjects performed a familiarization trial immediately followed by an experimental trial. All BESS scoring was completed by a certified Athletic Trainer. A timer was placed in view of the scorer and the total number of balance errors committed during the first 10 seconds and final 10 seconds of the test were recorded separately. RESULTS: Mean total BESS score was 5.8 (+3.9). Mean BESS scores for the first 10 seconds and final 10 seconds were 2.6 (+2.2) and 3.2 (+2.3) respectively. Paired sample t-test revealed no significant difference between the mean number of balance errors committed during the first and last 10 seconds of the assessment (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: No significant difference in mean balance errors were observed between the first 10 seconds and final 10 seconds of the BESS assessment. This indicates that limiting each balance stance to 10 seconds may provide sufficient evidence of the subjects overall balance status.
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