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Background. Recent protocols for posturographic assessment of postural control and balance have included head shake test conditions to challenge the vestibular contributions of postural control in an effort to increase the diagnostic accuracy of identifying individuals with impaired balance. However, evidence is limited regarding the test-retest reliability of such assessment protocols. Purpose. The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine the test-retest reliability of postural control assessment on the Biodex Biosway™, an accessible and field expedient tool for posturographic assessment, and to determine the test-retest reliability of the Head Shake Sensory Interaction and Balance Test (HS-SIB), an adaptation of the modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction and Balance (mCTSIB) which adds two head shake conditions to challenge the vestibular contributions to postural control. Study Design. This was a correlational time series cohort study completed in a biomechanics laboratory. Methods. The sample consisted of nineteen healthy adults (10 females, 9 males). Sway Index, Equilibrium Score, and the area of the ellipse enclosing 95% of the anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) center of gravity (COG) displacement (AREA95) are the 3 summary variables. Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) and Minimum Detectable Change (MDC) are also reported. Results. Test-retest reliability was generally poor with limited exceptions. Moderate to good reliability was observed for the more challenging stance conditions (ICC range 0.58-0.81), including those with head shake. Conclusions. Field-expedient systems, such as the Biodex BioSway™, may offer reliable posturographic testing where gold-standard methods are not available. Clinicians should be aware that less demanding test conditions have limited reliability; however, test-retest reliability of this assessment tool is improved with more challenged stance conditions and the inclusion of a head shake task.


This article was originally published in BioMed Research International, volume 2022, in 2022.

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