The Community Balance and Mobility Scale: A Pilot Study Detecting Impairments in Military Service Members With Comorbid Mild TBI and Psychological Health Conditions

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Abstract

Objective:

To compare the capacity of the Community Balance and Mobility Scale (CB&M) to identify balance and mobility deficits in Service Members (SMs) with mild traumatic brain injury and comorbid psychological health conditions (mTBI/PH) to other commonly used balance assessments.

Setting:

A clinical research institute that provides a 4-week, outpatient, interdisciplinary program for active-duty SMs with mTBI/PH.

Design:

A nonrandomized, cross-sectional design that compared multiple measures between 2 groups—active duty SMs with (n = 8) and without (n = 8) the dual diagnosis of mTBI/PH.

Main Measures:

Gait speed, Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC), Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), and CB&M to assess functional balance among the community-dwelling, TBI population.

Results:

Across all measures, the mTBI/PH group performed significantly worse (P ≤ .01) with the exception of the FGA. The abilities of all objective measures to distinguish participants with mTBI/PH from healthy controls ranged from fair to excellent (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.66-0.94). However, the CB&M showed the largest group differences in effect size (d = 2.6) and had the highest discriminate ability (AUC = 0.98; sensitivity 100%; specificity 88%).

Conclusion:

The CB&M appears to have higher sensitivity and specificity than other measures of balance in SMs with mTBI/PH. A higher cut score for the CB&M is needed for this population.

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