Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 12, pp 2175–2181 | Cite as

Psychometric properties of the Berg balance scale in idiopathic Parkinson’ disease in the drug off-phase

  • Ghorban Taghizadeh
  • Pablo Martinez-Martin
  • Seyed-Mohammad Fereshtehnejad
  • Seyed Amirhasan Habibi
  • Negar Nikbakht
  • Naeeme Haji Alizadeh
  • Sheyda Salehi
  • Maryam MehdizadehEmail author
Original Article



Having an appropriate tool for assessment of the balance status during the drug off-phase in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) is relevant for clinical and research settings. Our objective was to assess the clinimetric properties of the Berg balance scale (BBS) during drug off-phase in PD.


Balance of 98 PD patients (mean age ± SD, 59.19 ± 10.88 years) was evaluated with the BBS. Other assessments in the study included the Fall Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I), Functional Reach Test (FRT), Section II of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale-3.0, Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ-39), and Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale. All evaluations took place during the drug off-phase. Internal consistency and inter- and intra-rater reliability were evaluated by Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and intraclass correlation coefficient, respectively. Dimensionality was explored by factor analysis. Discriminative validity was tested by comparing BBS score between PD patients with and without a history of falling.


Internal consistency was high (α = 0.98), as were intra- and inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.98 and 0.95, respectively). Factor analysis identified only one dimension for the BBS, whose convergent validity with FES-I, FRT, and domain mobility of the PDQ-39 were moderate or high (rS = |0.60–0.74|). Correlation of BBS with functional scales and PDQ-39 Summary Index was moderate (rS = |0.45–0.62|). Finally, the BBS showed a moderate strength to discriminate between PD patients with and without a history of falling.


Our study suggests that BBS has satisfactory internal consistency, reliability, and construct validity for measuring functional balance in people with PD during the drug off-phase.


Psychometric properties Berg balance scale Parkinson’ disease Drug off-phase 



This research was funded by Student Research Center of Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. We have to express our appreciation to the patients and their family for their participation and cooperation through this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the ethics committee of the Student Research Center at Iran University of Medical Sciences (number, IR.IUMS.REC.1394.94-01-19-25617). All patients signed an informed consent for participation to the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghorban Taghizadeh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pablo Martinez-Martin
    • 3
  • Seyed-Mohammad Fereshtehnejad
    • 4
    • 5
  • Seyed Amirhasan Habibi
    • 6
  • Negar Nikbakht
    • 7
  • Naeeme Haji Alizadeh
    • 8
  • Sheyda Salehi
    • 9
  • Maryam Mehdizadeh
    • 8
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation SciencesIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Research Center, School of Rehabilitation SciencesIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.National Center of Epidemiology and CIBERNEDCarlos III Institute of HealthMadridSpain
  4. 4.Department of Neurology and NeurosurgeryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Department of NeurobiologyCare Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Department of Neurology, Rasoul Akram HospitalIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  7. 7.Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation SciencesShahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health ServicesTehranIran
  8. 8.Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Advance Technologies in MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  9. 9.Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation SciencesTehranIran
  10. 10.Student Research Center, School of Rehabilitation SciencesIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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