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Clin Rehabil. 2013 Feb;27(2):166-73. doi: 10.1177/0269215512452879. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Validity of the Sitting Balance Scale in older adults who are non-ambulatory or have limited functional mobility.

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  • 1School of Physical Therapy, Texas Woman's University, Dallas, TX, USA.



To determine whether the Sitting Balance Scale is an acceptable alternative to the Trunk Impairment Scale for measuring the construct of sitting balance, to examine relationships with other clinical outcomes and to establish discriminative validity.


Prospective descriptive methodological study.


Acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facility and home health.


Patients receiving physical therapy (N = 98; n = 20 acute care, n = 18 inpatient rehabilitation, n = 30 skilled nursing facility, n = 30 home setting) mean (SD) age, 80.5 (7.9) years. Nineteen were non-ambulatory and 79 had limited functional mobility with Timed Up and Go scores ≥20 seconds.


Sitting Balance Scale, Trunk Impairment Scale, Timed Up and Go, length of stay and setting specific clinical measures of sitting balance (OASIS-C M1850; MDS G-3b).


Moderate association between ambulatory status and sitting balance measures (Sitting Balance Scale r = 0.67, Trunk Impairment Scale r = 0.61; P = 0.0001). Moderate to strong relationships between Sitting Balance Scale, Trunk Impairment Scale and clinical outcomes varying by setting. MANOVA results revealed differences between ambulators and non-ambulators and among diagnostic categories for both instruments (P < 0.001).


The Sitting Balance Scale is comparable to the Trunk Impairment Scale for measuring sitting balance in older adults who are non-ambulatory or have limited mobility.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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