The Mini-BESTest: a review of psychometric properties


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Abstract

The Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest) has been identified as the most comprehensive balance measure for community-dwelling adults and elderly individuals. It can be used to assess balance impairments in several other conditions, mainly Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Despite increasing use of the Mini-BESTest since it was first published 5 years ago, no systematic review synthesizing its psychometric properties is available. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive review of the psychometric properties of the Mini-BESTest when administered to patients with balance deficits because of different diseases. A literature search was performed on articles published before July 2015 in journals indexed by MEDLINE and Scopus databases. The search produced 98 papers, 24 of which fulfilled the inclusion criteria for this review. Most papers (n=19) focused on patients affected by neurological diseases, mainly Parkinson’s disease. In 21 papers, the psychometric characteristics were analyzed using Classical Test Theory methods and in only three papers was Rasch analysis carried out. This review shows the interest of researchers in the Mini-BESTest despite the short time frame since its first publication. The Mini-BESTest is used widely in both clinical practice and research. The results support the reliability, validity, and responsiveness of this instrument and it can be considered a standard balance measure. However, it would be valuable to learn more about how this scale performs in different diseases causing balance deficits and to better define the minimal clinically important difference for each disease.

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