• Modified bathroom scale and balance assessment: a comparison with clinical tests

      Duchêne, Jacques; Hewson, David; Rumeau, Pierre; University of Technology of Troyes; University of Bedfordshire; Gérontopôle (Springer, 2016-04-18)
      Frailty and detection of fall risk are major issues in preventive gerontology. A simple tool frequently used in daily life, a bathroom scale (balance quality tester: BQT), was modified to obtain information on the balance of 84 outpatients consulting at a geriatric clinic. The results computed from the BQT were compared to the values of three geriatric tests that are widely used either to detect a fall risk or frailty (timed get up and go: TUG; 10 m walking speed: WS; walking time: WT; one-leg stand: OS). The BQT calculates four parameters that are then scored and weighted, thus creating an overall indicator of balance quality. Raw data, partial scores and the global score were compared with the results of the three geriatric tests. The WT values had the highest correlation with BQT raw data (r = 0.55), while TUG (r = 0.53) and WS (r = 0.56) had the highest correlation with BQT partial scores. ROC curves for OS cut-off values (4 and 5 s) were produced, with the best results obtained for a 5 s cut-off, both with the partial scores combined using Fisher's combination (specificity 85 %: <0.11, sensitivity 85 %: >0.48), and with the empirical score (specificity 85 %: <7, sensitivity 85 %: >8). A BQT empirical score of less than seven can detect fall risk in a community dwelling population.