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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Jul;56(7):1213-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01773.x. Epub 2008 May 22.

Reliability of the hierarchical assessment of balance and mobility in frail older adults.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine Research Unit, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.



To study the test-retest and interrater reliability of the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) in frail older adults.


Convenience sample of 167 frail older adults seen as part of routine care by an academic geriatrician at a tertiary care teaching hospital.


Inpatient medical and geriatric wards, geriatric ambulatory care clinic, emergency department, home visits.


The interrater reliability sample consisted of 98 inpatients and 69 outpatients. The test-retest reliability sample tracked 63 of the inpatients over the first 2 days of their hospital stay.


Mobility and balance were assessed using the HABAM. Frailty was assessed using a frailty index based on a standardized Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. Reliability was assessed using Pearson correlations and the intraclass correlation coefficients.


The interrater reliability of the HABAM was 0.92 and ranged from 0.88 to 0.96 across settings for the various components (balance, transfers, mobility). Test-retest reliability was 0.91 (range 0.85-0.92).


The HABAM appears to be a reliable means of assessing mobility and balance in frail older adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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