Follow SeekFreaks on:

Hi, SeekFreaks! As discussed in The Four Pillars of School-based PT Assessment, the choice of assessment tools is very important. Luckily, there are more and more tests and measures that we can choose from. But which ones should you use?

Let’s say, you have completed your ecological assessment, and you would like to test the student’s balance in sitting and/or standing, we have chosen a few functional standardized tests that may be most useful to you. They are free,  and can be completed in a short amount of time. We have included a link to the articles that describe how to use these tests and the norms, if they are available. We recommend that you read them before you administer them. We also include the approximate time for administration and equipment needed.

How do you select the right test? We learned a few things from our recent article review on testing dynamic balance which you can apply when selecting tests:

  • Appropriateness – Choose the test appropriate to the child’s level of function. Decide whether you are going to use it as a norm-referenced or a criterion-referenced test.
  • Specificity – Each test measures balance while performing specific tasks (we list them below). Choose the test that matches the difficulties you identified during your ecological assessment.
  • Multiple Tests – Don’t just rely on the results of one test. Analyze the results of multiple tests.

Finally, don’t just record the time, distance or ratings. Observe the child’s performance and use this information in your decision-making.

Feel free to print the infographic above and post it at your workspace.

1. Segmental Assessment of Trunk Control (SATCO) – measures the ability to maintain trunk control while sitting in a steady, active and reactive state of sitting; the test determines the highest level of trunk support at which child loses postural control

Balance tasks: sitting without arm support, sitting while moving the head, sitting with perturbations

2. Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) – a modification of the Berg Balance Scale, the PBS is composed of 14 different activities to test balance activities from simple (e.g., sitting to standing) to relatively more complex (e.g., retrieving object from floor).

Balance tasks: sitting unsupported, transferring between sitting and standing, transferring between 2 chairs, standing unsupported, standing with various feet positions, turning 360 degrees, turning head while standing, standing with eyes closed, retrieving object from floor, forward reach, standing & placing alternate foot on a footstool

  • Test instruction: Click here for the PBS forms
  • Norms: Available here
  • Time for administration: 10-20 minutes
  • Equipment needed: timer, chair with armrests, bench, step stool about 6 inches high, tape, chalkboard eraser, yardstick

3. Early Clinical Assessment of Balance (ECAB) – consist of items from the PBS and the Movement Assessment for infants, the ECAB measures of head, trunk, sitting and standing postural control for children up to 7 years & 11 months old

Balance tasks: head righting, rolling from supine to prone, sitting with weight shift, protective extension, sit to stand transfer, standing with eyes closed, standing with feet together, turning 360 degrees, standing & placing alternate foot on a footstool

  • Test instruction: Click here for the ECAB testing form  
  • Norms: None at this time
  • Time for administration: 20 minutes
  • Equipment needed: bench, mat, timer, step stool about 6” high

4. 5-Repetitions Sit-to-Stand – measures time to complete 5 consecutive cycles of sit to stand

Balance tasks: transfers between sitting and standing

  • Test instruction: Click here for the 5-reps Sit-to-Stand procedures  
  • Norms: None at this time; the article above provides small group averages for children with typical development and children with CP, GMFCS Levels I, II and III
  • Time for administration: 5 minutes
  • Equipment needed: armless chair, rope, timer

5. Functional Reach Test (FRT) – measures distance one or both hands can reach forward while maintaining standing balance

Balance tasks: reaching forward while standing

6. Pediatric Reach Test (PRT) – measures distance one hand can reach forward and laterally while maintaining sitting or standing balance

Balance tasks: reaching forward and laterally in sitting and standing

7. Timed Up and Go (TUG) – measures time to stand, walk 3 meters, turn and return to the seat

Balance tasks: transfers between sitting and standing, walking, turning 180 degrees

8. Timed Floor to Stand (TFTS) – a modification of the TUG, with the subject sitting on the floor instead of a chair 

Balance tasks: transfers between sitting on the floor and standing, walking, turning 180 degrees

9. Timed Up and Down Stairs (TUDS) – measures the time it takes to ascend  and descend 1 flight of stairs

Balance tasks: walk up and down stairs, turning 180 degrees

  • Test instruction: Click here for the TUDS procedures  
  • Norms: None at this time; the article above provides small group averages for children with typical development and children with CP, GMFCS Levels I, II and III
  • Time for administration: 5-10 minutes
  • Equipment needed: flight of stairs with ~14 steps

~~~~~~~~~~ 0 ~~~~~~~~~~

Readers of this article also read:

The 4 Pillars of School-based PT Assessment

7 Wheelchair Operation Tests for School-based Therapists

Top 10 Walking Tests for School-based PTs

Article Review: How Age, Gender, Anthropometrics Affect Dynamic Balance

Follow SeekFreaks on:
Like what you read? Share the SeekFreaking goodness...
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •