COSMIN database

Systematic review of the psychometric properties of balance measures for cerebellar ataxia

Winser, S. J., Smith, C. M., Hale, L. A., Claydon, L. S., Whitney, S. L., and Mehta, P.
OBJECTIVE: To review systematically the psychometric properties of balance measures for use in people with cerebellar ataxia.

DATA SOURCES: Medline, AMED, CINAHL, Web of Science and EMBASE were searched between 1946 and April 2014.

REVIEW METHODS: Two reviewers independently searched data sources. Cerebellar-specific and generic measures of balance were considered. Included studies tested psychometric properties of balance measures in people with cerebellar ataxia of any cause. Quality of reported studies was rated using the Consensus Based Standards for the selection of health status Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist.

RESULTS: Twenty-one articles across which 16 measures had been tested were included for review. Using the COSMIN, quality of methodology in studies investigating psychometric properties of generic balance measures (n=10) was rated predominantly as 'poor'. Furthermore, responsiveness has not been tested for any generic measures in this population. The quality of studies investigating psychometric properties of balance sub-components of the cerebellar-specific measures (n=6) ranged from 'poor' to 'excellent'; however, Minimally Clinically Important Difference has not been determined for these cerebellar-specific measures.

CONCLUSION: The Posture and Gait (PG) sub-component of the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) demonstrates the most robust psychometric properties with acceptable clinical utility.
Clin Rehabil
1477-0873 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Adults (18-65)
Children (0-18)
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
4 - Performance-based tests
6 - Clinical rating scales
7 - Observations
6MWT - 6-Minute Walk Test    |  | also see:
ABC scale - Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale    
BBS - Berg Balance Scale   
DGI - Dynamic Gait Index   
DHI - Dizziness Handicap Inventory
DI - Hauser Deambulation Index
FARS - Friedreich Ataxia Rating Scale
ICARS - International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale
SARA - Scale for Assessment and Rating of Ataxia
SCAFI - Spinocerebellar Ataxia Functional Index
T25FW - Timed 25 Foot Walk;
Timed standing balance tests
TUG - Timed Up and Go test   
UMSARS - Unified Multiple System Atrophy Rating Scale