Barnett Balance Assessment Dynamic Arc

Establishing Normative Values for the Barnett Balance Assessment Tool: A Preliminary Study

This study originally appeared in The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, Issue 2 Spring 2014. 

Authors: Monica L. Cercone MSOTS; Katherine M. Grulke-Kidd MSOTS; Alora S. Haskin MSOTS; Kyle M. Medearis MSOTS; Clarissa J. Wegner MSOTS; and Ellen Herlache-Pretzer Ed.D, MA, OTRL.

The Baby Boomer generation is now the largest population segment in the United States. Now more than ever, training and balance assessment are core pieces of physical therapy sessions when it comes to fall prevention. Not only do patients lose independence and have a more difficult time recovering fully after a fall, but older adults are costing the medical system “over 30 billion dollars in direct medical costs” (reference inside study) stemming from falls. The research team in this study sought to establish a set of normative values concerning the Barnett Balance Assessment Tool, which quantitively measures a patient’s balance while performing routine movements that concern balance and stability. This BBA tool sets itself apart from others because of the numeric scores associated to different sub-tests with the equipment, which allow therapists to accurately track, report and compare performance scores over time. Providing evidence-based outcomes can help therapists better communicate with patients by providing informed feedback.

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