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

Stanley John Winser, Catherine M. Smith, Leigh A. Hale, Leica S. Claydon, Susan L. Whitney, Poonam Mehta

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Ataxia
  • balance
  • outcome assessment (health care)
  • reliability
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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