COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Minimal detectable changes of the Berg Balance Scale, Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale, Timed "Up & Go" Test, gait speeds, and 2-minute walk test in individuals with chronic stroke with different degrees of ankle plantarflexor tone

Vimonwan Hiengkaew, Khanitha Jitaree, Pakaratee Chaiyawat
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012, 93 (7): 1201-8
22502805

OBJECTIVE: To determine test-retest reliability and absolute and relative minimal detectable changes at the 95% confidence level (MDC(95)) of measures to detect postural balance and lower limb movements in individuals with chronic stroke who were able to walk and had differences in ankle plantarflexor tone.

DESIGN: Test-retest study. Data were collected on 2 occasions, about 6 days apart.

SETTING: Outpatient physical therapy clinics.

PARTICIPANTS: Volunteers (N=61) with chronic stroke who were able to walk and had differences in ankle plantarflexor tone: no increase in ankle plantarflexor tone (n=12), a slight increase in ankle plantarflexor tone (n=32), and a marked increase in ankle plantarflexor tone (n=17).

INTERVENTION: Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reliability and absolute and relative MDC(95) of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the lower limb subscale of Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA-LE), the Timed "Up & Go" test (TUG), the comfortable gait speed (CGS), the fast gait speed (FGS), and the 2-minute walk test (2MWT).

RESULTS: Excellent reliability of the BBS, FMA-LE, TUG, CGS, FGS, and 2MWT for all the participants combined and for the subgroups was shown. All the participants combined showed the absolute and relative MDC(95) in the BBS of 5 points and 10%, FMA-LE of 4 points and 16%, TUG of 8 seconds and 28%, CGS of 0.2m/s and 34%, FGS of 0.1m/s and 21%, and 2MWT of 13m and 23%. The absolute and relative MDC(95) of the subgroups were varied based on ankle plantarflexor tone.

CONCLUSIONS: The BBS, FMA-LE, TUG, CGS, FGS, and 2MWT are reliable measures to detect postural balance and lower limb movements in individuals with chronic stroke who have differences in ankle plantarflexor tone. The absolute and relative MDC(95) of each measure are dissimilar in those with differences in ankle plantarflexor tone. The relative MDC(95) seems more useful than the absolute MDC(95) because the relative value can be used for a single individual.

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