|Background: The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is a commonly used assessment tool for stroke rehabilitation. The tool is popular among physical therapists working with stroke populations.
Objective: To conduct a systematic review of empirical research on the measurement properties of the BBS in order to summarize findings and identify potential limitations.
Search strategy: The researchers identified studies by searching electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, HealthSTAR, PsycINFO, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments) using the following key words: Balance Scale, Berg Balance Scale, psychometric properties, measurement properties, reliability, repeatability, validity, responsiveness, and appropriateness. Additionally, the Cochrane Library was searched and reference checks were conducted on all journal articles.
Section criteria: Studies were selected that examined the measurement properties of the BBS for patients with stroke.
Data collection and analysis: The authors assessed and rated each study for methodological rigor.
Main results: Twenty-one studies met the inclusion criteria. The authors report and summarize positive findings on BBS reliability, validity, and responsiveness. Several studies indicated floor/ceiling effects.
Conclusion: The authors report the BBS is a psychometrically sound measure for assessing balance impairment in post-stroke patients; however, several studies reported floor/ceiling effects. As such, healthcare providers should consider the BBS in combination with other balance measures.