Correlation of the functional difficulties questionnaire (FDQ-9) with dynamic balance using the SMART instrumented wobbleboard.
OBJECTIVES There is clinical need to provide quantification of wobble board performance. This study aimed to investigate, in a healthy population, wobble board performance, using an instrumented wobble board. DESIGN Experimental-observational. SETTING Clinical setting, Bournemouth University. PARTICIPANTS Thirty-two healthy volunteers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Wobble board performance was measured using time spent in tilt angle bandings, on the edge and number of edge contacts. Time was normalised to total time, yielding time as a percentage. RESULTS Mean (sd) intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) for percentage-time in each banding was 0.71(0.1); 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.67-0.76) indicating good consistency with repeated performances. Mean (sd) standard error of measurement (SEM) for percentage-time was 4.2% (1.3%); 95% CI (3.6-4.7%) indicating small errors associated with repeated performances. Minimal detectable change was small for percentage-time in tilt bandings (5%) and number of edge contacts (9). One-way ANOVA demonstrated that eyes closed yielded significantly different results to all other conditions. Time in the outer tilt band, on the edge and number of edge contacts may be better at discriminating between tasks in healthy volunteers. CONCLUSIONS The SMARTwobble board is reliable for measuring balance within a healthy population and provides reference for further clinical studies.