Objectives: Balance exercises have been found beneficial for older adults and individuals with balance and vestibular disorders in improving balance and reducing number of fall incidences. Unfortunately, there is insufficient evidence of a method to determine the difficulty of balance exercises that can be used in the clinic. In this study, we developed a rating scale similar to the rating scale of perceived exertion for aerobic and resistance exercises, and our goal is to assess the reliability and validity of the rating scale in a wide range of balance exercises.
Design: Sixty-two healthy adult participants (19 - 82 years) with mean age of 55 ± 20 years (50% male) participated in the study and performed 24 standing balance exercises (4 trails). The exercises’ conditions were standing on frim or foam surface, keeping eyes open or closed, standing on feet apart or semi-tandem, and keeping head still or moving in yaw or pitch planes. Ratings of perceived difficulty were recorded on a scale from 0 (very easy) to 10 (very hard), and body sway was quantified using an inertial sensor. The ratings of perceived difficulty of balance exercises were validated by comparing them with body sway measurements using a linear regression model, and their test-retest reliability was assessed using a weighted kappa coefficient.
Results: Ratings of perceived difficulty of balance exercises were found valid and reliable demonstrating moderate to strong correlations with body sway measurements and demonstrating fair to substantial test-retest reliability.
Conclusions: The scale of ratings of perceived difficulty was found valid and reliable and can be used in clinic to determine the intensity of balance exercises.
Saud Alsubaie– Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Health Rehabilitation, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia.
Gregory Marchetti– Professor, Duquesne University
Susan Whitney– Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Kathleen Sienko– Associate Professor, Michigan University
Joseph Furman– Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Brooke Klatt– Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Patrick Sparto– Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh