Hohtari-Kivimäki, U., Salminen, M., Vahlberg, T. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2012) 24: 42. doi:10.1007/BF03325353
Background and aims: To create a shorter version of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and to assess correlations between short BBS and static and dynamic aspects of balance among community-dwelling aged with a self-reported history of falling. Methods: 519 (88%) subjects were included in the study, for whom BBS, and static and dynamic balance measurements were performed. Explanatory factor analysis was used to create a shorter version of the BBS. Static and dynamic balance was measured on a force platform. Correlations between the short BBS and static and dynamic balance were analysed by Spearman’s correlation analysis. Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess the internal consistency of the short BBS. Results: Explanatory factory analysis produced two factors. Factor 1 consisted of nine items and factor 2 of four items of the BBS. One item of the original BBS was not loaded in these factors. The short BBS (BBS-9) was formed of factor 1. It correlated significantly with the original BBS, and had moderate correlations with static and dynamic aspects of balance (p<0.001). The high scores of BBS-9 were associated with better static and dynamic balance. BBS-9 demonstrated as good internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha [α]=0.69) as the original BBS (α=0.74). Conclusions: Results support the applicability of BBS-9 in assessing functional balance among the aged with quite good physical function. However, more studies are needed to verify applicability to other samples and to assess cut-off scores for BBS-9, to predict the likelihood of falling.