The Diagnostic Accuracy of the Berg Balance Scale in Predicting Falls

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Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the predictive validity of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) as a screening tool for fall risks among those with varied levels of balance. A total of 21 studies reporting predictive validity of the BBS of fall risk were meta-analyzed. With regard to the overall predictive validity of the BBS, the pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.72 and 0.73, respectively; the accuracy curve area was 0.84. The findings showed statistical heterogeneity among studies. Among the sub-groups, the age group of those younger than 65 years, those with neuromuscular disease, those with 2+ falls, and those with a cutoff point of 45 to 49 showed better sensitivity with statistically less heterogeneity. The empirical evidence indicates that the BBS is a suitable tool to screen for the risk of falls and shows good predictability when used with the appropriate criteria and applied to those with neuromuscular disease.

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