The Sitting Balance Scale is comparable to the Trunk Impairment Scale for measuring sitting balance in older adults who are nonambulatory or have limited mobility, say authors of an article published in Clinical Rehabilitation.
The authors conducted this prospective study in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facility, and home health settings. Participants included 98 patients, with a mean age of 80.5 (SD 7.9) years, who received physical therapy (n = 20 acute care, n = 18 inpatient rehabilitation, n = 30 skilled nursing facility, n = 30 home setting). Nineteen patients were nonambulatory, and 79 had limited functional mobility with Timed Up and Go scores ≥20 seconds. The main measures were the Sitting Balance Scale, Trunk Impairment Scale, Timed Up and Go, length of stay, and setting-specific clinical measures of sitting balance (OASIS-C M1850; MDS G-3b).
A moderate association between ambulatory status and sitting balance measures was found (Sitting Balance Scale r = 0.67, Trunk Impairment Scale r = 0.61). Moderate to strong relationships between Sitting Balance Scale, Trunk Impairment Scale, and clinical outcomes varied by setting. Multivariate analysis of variance results revealed differences between ambulators and nonambulators and among diagnostic categories for both instruments.
APTA member Mary Thompson, PT, PhD, GCS, is lead author of the article. APTA members Ann Medley, PT, PhD, CEEAA, and Steve Teran, PT, are coauthors.