Reliability of postural control measures in children and young adolescents
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Although many studies have been carried out regarding postural stability during pediatric age, reliable information and a complete analysis of all age groups are still lacking. The purpose of this study was to verify the test–retest reliability of posturographic parameters in four sensory conditions and provide normative values for children and young adolescents. 289 subjects, aged 6–14 years, were assessed by means of the static posturography system SVeP. 173 elementary school pupils (114 males and 59 females, aged 6–10 years; mean age 8.80 ± 1.53) and 116 middle school students (60 males and 56 females, aged 11–14 years; mean age 12.6 ± 0.9) underwent static posturography in two consecutive trials with four testing conditions: eyes open and eyes closed with and without foam pads. The participants were divided into nine age groups. Thirty healthy young adults were also recruited for comparison. The analysis of test–retest reliability demonstrated an excellent reliability of velocity measurement and a moderate reliability of area measurement. Velocity and area decreased significantly with age in all sensory conditions, indicating an improvement in postural control from childhood to adolescence. Postural stability had not reached the adult level by the age of 13–14 years. Reliable information regarding postural stability can be obtained in children and young adolescents by means of stabilometric parameters. These data can be used as a reference for early detection of atypical postural development and for the assessment of dizziness and balance disorders in children.
KeywordsPostural control Children Adolescents Reliability Normative values
The authors would like to thank the parents and the children who participated in this study and Amplifon Politecnica (Modena, Italy) for granting use of the stabilometric platform.
Conflict of interest
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