Reliability and validity of the sequential weight-shifting test: A new functional approach to the assessment of the sitting balance of older adults

Ken Y.T. Lee, Christina W.Y. Hui-Chan, Wai Nam Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Published by IPEC Inc. [Purpose] The evaluation of sitting balance is important for the prevention of falls in older adults, especially those who have a disability involving the lower extremities. However, no studies have been designed to assess a patient’s dynamic sitting balance using a sequential protocol. The objective of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the sequential weight-shifting (SWS) test. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-three older adults who were physically dependent with regard to ambulation were recruited by convenience sampling. In study 1, 10 participants performed the SWS test and repeated the procedure 1 week later. In study 2, 23 participants were assessed using the SWS test, forward and lateral reach tests in a sitting position, tests of shoulder flexor and hand grip strength, an eye-hand coordination test, mobility tests, and pulmonary function tests. The test-retest reliability of the SWS test and its correlations with the different physical dimensions were examined. [Results] The intraclass correlation coefficient (3,1) of the SWS test was 0.67. The results of the SWS test correlated significantly with forward reach in the sitting position, arm muscle strength, eye-hand coordination, mobility, and pulmonary function (all p<0.05). [Conclusion] The SWS test demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties and can be considered a useful functional approach for the measurement of sitting balance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3444-3450
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Therapy Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Balance
  • Disability evaluation
  • Geriatric assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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