Walking After Stroke

Berg Balance Scale Predicts Walking

Louie DR & Eng JJ (2018) Berg Balance Scale score at admission can predict walking suitable for community ambulation at discharge from inpatient stroke rehabilitation. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 50 (1), 37-44, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2340/16501977-2280

Objective: This retrospective cohort study identified inpatient rehabilitation admission variables that predict walking ability at discharge and established Berg Balance Scale cut-off scores to predict the extent of improvement in walking.

Methods: Participants (= 123) were assessed for various cognitive and physical outcomes at admission to inpatient stroke rehabilitation. Multivariate logistic regression identified admission predictors of regaining community ambulation (gait speed ≥ 0.8 m/s) or unassisted ambulation (no physical assistance) after 4 weeks. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified cut-off admission Berg Balance Scale scores.

Results: Mini-Mental State Examination (odds ratio (OR) 1.60, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.19–2.14) was a significant predictor when coupled with admission walking speed for regaining community ambulation speed; stroke type (haemorrhagic/ischaemic) was a significant predictor (OR = 0.19, 95% CI 0.05–0.77) when coupled with Berg Balance Scale (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.09–1.20). Only Berg Balance Scale was a significant predictor of regaining unassisted ambulation (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.05–1.17). A cut-off Berg Balance Scale score of 29 on admission predicts that an individual will go on to achieve community walking speed (n = 123, area under the curve (AUC) = 0.88, 95% CI 0.81–0.95); a cut-off score of 12 predicts a non-ambulator to regain unassisted ambulation (n = 84, AUC 0.73, 95% CI 0.62–0.84).

Conclusion: The Berg Balance Scale can be used at rehabilitation admission to predict the degree of improvement in walking for patients with stroke.

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