Reference values for the Balance Error Scoring System as measured by the Tekscan MobileMat™ in a physically active population.

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Faculty Learning Innovation Collaboration and Research

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Publication Title

Brain injury : [BI]

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OBJECTIVES: The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is commonly used to measure postural stability; however, it has demonstrated inconsistent reliability values when administered by humans. The Tekscan MobileMat™ was developed to automate the assessment of BESS errors and eliminate rater subjectivity. The objective of this study was to report reference values for the BESS, as measured by the MobileMat™, and examine the effect of sex, concussion history, and competitive sport level on BESS performance.

METHODS: Four hundred and forty participants performed the BESS on the MobileMat™. Participants were asked to maintain each stance with their eyes closed for 20 s. The MobileMat™ was used to quantify the number of errors.

RESULTS: Concussion history (p = 0.279-0.979) and competitive sport level (p = 0.422-0.979) did not affect BESS performance. Males performed significantly better than females for the single-limb foam stance (p = 0.032). No sex differences were detected for the other BESS stances or BESS total score (p = 0.067-0.744).

CONCLUSIONS: Previously reported reference values in collegiate athletes and adolescents were slightly higher thus highlighting the value in establishing population norms and in developing new technologies to objectively quantify BESS performance. Furthermore, sex, concussion history, and competitive sport level do not appear to influence BESS performance as measured by the MobileMat™.

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