Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of the Tinetti Balance Test for Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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Background and PurposeIndividuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) develop balance problems. This study was conducted to determine the reliability of the Tinetti Balance Test for individuals with ALS.Subjects and MethodsSubjects in Stages I - III volunteered for Parts 1 (n=21) and 2 (n=11). One physical therapist and 2 physical therapy students (Part 1) rated subjects' live performances of the Tinetti Balance Test. Two physical therapists and 4 physical therapy students (Part 2) rated videotaped performances twice.ResultsExcellent ICC values (± 0.90) were found for the total Tinetti Balance Test scores in Parts 1 and 2. In Part 1, substantial to almost perfect agreement among all 3 raters (kappa range 0.62 - 0.84) was found for 88% of individual maneuvers. In Part 2, fair to perfect agreement (kappa range 0.40 -1.00) was found on 93% of maneuver scores recorded 1 week apart for the 6 raters. Conclusion: The results suggest that the Tinetti Balance Test is reliable for examination of individuals with ALS in Stages I-III by physical therapists and physical therapy students.

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