Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Berg Balance Scale

  • Kari DunningEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1928


7-item BBS-3P; BBS


The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is a 14-item performance observation measure that assesses balance on a scale from 0 to 4 for each item, yielding a total score range of 0–56, where higher scores indicate better balance. The BBS tests both static and dynamic balance with items meant to mimic balance challenges encountered in daily life.

Historical Background

In 1989, Berg developed the BBS to fill the need for a quantitative balance assessment tool to screen older adults for fall risk. The BBS has subsequently become the best known clinical balance instrument. Shorter versions of the BBS, such as the seven-item BBS-3P (which also has a condensed rating scale), have also been developed and validated.

Psychometric Data

The high reliability, validity, and sensitivity of the BBS, including predictive validity for fall risk, are well documented in the literature. Some authors initially dichotomized the scale, using the threshold value <45 points as an...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Alzayer, L., Beninato, M., & Portney, L. G. (2009). The accuracy of individual berg balance scale items compared with the total berg score for classifying people with chronic stroke according to fall history. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: JNPT, 33(3), 136–143.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Berg, K., Wood-Dauphinee, S., Williams, J. I., & Gayton, D. (1989). Measuring balance in the elderly: Preliminary development of an instrument. Physiotherapy Canada, 41, 304–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berg, K., Wood-Dauphinee, S., & Williams, J. I. (1995). The balance scale: Reliability assessment with elderly residents and patients with an acute stroke. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 27(1), 27–36.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Blum, L., & Korner-Bitensky, N. (2008). Usefulness of the berg balance scale in stroke rehabilitation: A systematic review. Physical Therapy, 88(5), 559–566.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Chou, C. Y., Chien, C. W., Hsueh, I. P., Sheu, C. F., Wang, C. H., & Hsieh, C. L. (2006). Developing a short form of the berg balance scale for people with stroke. Physical Therapy, 86(2), 195–204.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Gervasoni, E., Jonsdottir, J., Montesano, A., & Cattaneo, D. (2016). Minimal clinically important difference of berg balance scale in people with multiple sclerosis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, epub.Google Scholar
  7. Internet Stroke Center. (2007). Berg balance scale.http://www.strokecenter.org/Trials/scales/berg.html. Accessed 19 May 2010.
  8. Jacome, C., Cruz, J., Olivera, A., & Marques, A. (2016). Validity, reliability, and ability to identify fall status of the berg balance scale, BESTest, Mini-BESTest, and Brief-BESTest in patients with copd. Physical Therapy, 96, 1807–1815.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Mao, H., Hsueh, I., Tang, P., Sheu, C., & Hsieh, C. (2002). Analysis and comparison of the psychometric properties of three balance measures for stroke patients. Stroke, 33(4), 1022–1027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Muir, S. W., Berg, K., Chesworth, B., & Speechley, M. (2008). Use of the berg balance scale for predicting multiple falls in community-dwelling elderly people: A prospective study. Physical Therapy, 88(4), 449–459.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Stevenson, T. J. (2001). Detecting change in patients with stroke using the berg balance scale. The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 47, 29–38.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Tyson, S. F., & Connell, L. A. (2009). How to measure balance in clinical practice. A systematic review of the psychometrics and clinical utility of measures of balance activity for neurological conditions. Clinical Rehabilitation, 23(9), 824–840.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA