DEAR ERI COMMUNITY: A discriminant, reliable and valid perturbation-based fall assessment tool, (Spring Scale Test) has been reported by DePasquale and Toscano in 2000 JGPT. Predicated on repeated incremental predictable perturbations, (RIPPS), the Spring Scale Test (SST) seeks to quantify limits of non-stepping and stepping postural responses expressed as percent of total body weight ( % TBW). Validated on an active independent-living older adult sample, the SST 10 % TBW performance measure was the most discriminant to fall history compared to TUGT, gait speed, single limb and tandem stance time timed performance measures. Pardassanay, Pai and others have recently concluded that more challenging, sensitive and responsive tests are needed for active older adult fall risk and intervention assessment. Mansfield recently concluded that physical therapists do not routinely assess reactive balance. Altered stepping and adaptation to perturbations is associated with fall risk. The SST is a feasible, safe and evidence-based tool, providing therapists with a clinical tool capable of quantifying threshold and stepping limits based upon body weight.
Please share the assessment tools you use for balance.