Top Stroke Rehabil 2019 01 10;26(1):32-38. Epub 2018 Nov 10.
a Division of Therapy , Good Shepherd Penn Partners , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
Background: Balance is a common mobility limitation following stroke, but determination of the most effective balance-related plan of care can be difficult due to multiple balance impairments that vary between individuals. The Brief-BESTest is a validated outcome measure for balance based on six systems of postural control. It may also be a useful tool to guide clinicians in their balance plan of care design.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of a quantitative balance plan of care for patients with subacute stroke, using a novel algorithm that utilizes the scoring design of the Brief-BESTest. The authors hypothesized that this plan of care could create targeted balance interventions among this population.
Methods: Eligible patients with subacute stroke at an inpatient rehab facility completed the Brief-BESTest within 1 week of admission. The subjects participated in specific interventions based on test section scores during their rehab stay.
Results: Five subjects completed testing and participated in targeted balance interventions, addressing three to five systems of postural control. Subjects demonstrated improved Brief-BESTest overall scores by 2, 1, 7, 4, and 6 points from admission to discharge. Improvements in section scores were primarily seen in the systems of postural control identified by the algorithm. All subjects improved in Functional Independence Measure (FIM™) scores for locomotion (walking and stairs) by 5, 6, 7, 6, and 9 points, respectively. All subjects were discharged to the community.
Conclusion: Our observational study found this method of assessment and intervention to be feasible in the subacute stroke population and was associated with improved balance scores and improved functional mobility. Further study is warranted to determine effectiveness and efficiency.