Category: Brain Injury; Measurement
Objective : To 1) evaluate the validity and minimal detectable change (MDC) of postural sway velocity (SV), and 2) establish the normative data of SV for college-aged students.
Design : A cross-sectional study
A laboratory of concussion research and services.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Healthy college-aged (18-23 y) Division-II student athletes (n=120, 62 females, 58 males) from a US university. The types of sports included football, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, field hockey, wrestling, swimming, and track and field.
Interventions : N/A
Main Outcome Measure(s) : The primary outcome was SV (deg/sec) from the Stability Evaluation Test by using VSR SPORT force plate, which has the identical testing procedure as balance error scoring system (BESS) test. The errors from BESS test were used to determine the concurrent validity of SV.
Significantly moderate correlation was observed between SV and BESS error for four testing conditions of single-leg firm (SLFirm) at 0.61, single-leg foam (SLFoam) at 0.56, tandem firm (TFirm) at 0.62, and tandem foam (TFoam) at 0.64. The MDC within 90% confidence interval (MDC90) for testing conditions were: double-leg firm (DLFirm) = 0.200, SLFirm = 0.571, TFirm = 0.442, double-leg foam (DLFoam) = 0.508, SLFoam = 0.802, and TFoam = 1.058. No significant difference was observed between female and male. The norms of sway velocity (deg/sec) for college-aged athlete students were: DLFirm = 0.659, SLFirm = 1.786, TFirm = 1.308, DLFoam = 1.743, SLFoam = 2.679, and TFoam = 2.372.
Conclusions : This standardized and objective balance assessment instrument could be used as one of the gold standards of postural control. Establishing normative data among college-aged athletes could assist to determine an athlete's level of recovery and readiness of safe return to play following concussion.