Developing a short form of the Berg Balance Scale for people with stroke

Chia Yeh Chou, Chi-Wen Chien, I. Ping Hsueh, Ching Fan Sheu, Chun Hou Wang, Ching Lin Hsieh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose. To improve the utility of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the aim of this study was to develop a short form of the BBS (SFBBS) that was psychometrically similar (including test reliability, validity, and responsiveness) to the original BBS for people with stroke. Subjects and Methods. A total of 226 subjects with stroke participated in this prospective study at 14 days after their stroke; 167 of these subjects also were examined at 90 days after their stroke. The BBS, Barthel Index, and Fugl-Meyer Motor Test were administered at these 2 time points. By reducing the number of tested items by more than half the number of items in the original BBS (ie, making 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-item tests) and simplifying the scoring system of the original BBS (ie, collapsing the 5-level scale into a 3-level scale [BBS-3P]), we generated a total of 8 SFBBSs. Results. The distributions of scores for all 8 SFBBSs were acceptable but featured notable floor effects. The 4-item BBS, 5-item BBS, 5-item BBS-3P, and 7-item BBS-3P demonstrated good reliability. The subjects' scores on the 6-item BBS, 6-item BBS-3P, 7-item BBS, and 7-item BBS-3P showed excellent agreement with those on the original BBS. The 6-item BBS-3P and 7-item BBS-3P exhibited great responsiveness. Only the 7-item BBS-3P demonstrated both satisfactory and psychometric properties similar to those of the original BBS. Discussion and Conclusion. The 7-item BBS-3P was found to be psychometrically similar to the original BBS. The 7-item BBS-3P, compared with the original BBS, is simpler and faster to complete in either a clinical or a research setting and is recommended. [Chou CY, Chien CW, Hsueh IP, et al. Developing a short form of the Berg Balance Scale for people with stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Item reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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