Developing a short form of the Berg Balance Scale for people with stroke

Chia Yeh Chou, Chi Wen Chien, I. Ping Hsueh, Ching Fan Sheu, Chun Hou Wang, Ching Lin Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose. To improve the utility of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the aim of this study was to develop a short form of the BBS (SFBBS) that was psychometrically similar (including test reliability, validity, and responsiveness) to the original BBS for people with stroke. Subjects and Methods. A total of 226 subjects with stroke participated in this prospective study at 14 days after their stroke; 167 of these subjects also were examined at 90 days after their stroke. The BBS, Barthel Index, and Fugl-Meyer Motor Test were administered at these 2 time points. By reducing the number of tested items by more than half the number of items in the original BBS (ie, making 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-item tests) and simplifying the scoring system of the original BBS (ie, collapsing the 5-level scale into a 3-level scale [BBS-3P]), we generated a total of 8 SFBBSs. Results. The distributions of scores for all 8 SFBBSs were acceptable but featured notable floor effects. The 4-item BBS, 5-item BBS, 5-item BBS-3P, and 7-item BBS-3P demonstrated good reliability. The subjects' scores on the 6-item BBS, 6-item BBS-3P, 7-item BBS, and 7-item BBS-3P showed excellent agreement with those on the original BBS. The 6-item BBS-3P and 7-item BBS-3P exhibited great responsiveness. Only the 7-item BBS-3P demonstrated both satisfactory and psychometric properties similar to those of the original BBS. Discussion and Conclusion. The 7-item BBS-3P was found to be psychometrically similar to the original BBS. The 7-item BBS-3P, compared with the original BBS, is simpler and faster to complete in either a clinical or a research setting and is recommended. [Chou CY, Chien CW, Hsueh IP, et al. Developing a short form of the Berg Balance Scale for people with stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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