Modified Berg Balance Scale: Improving assessment communication in the aphasia population

by Carter, Alina, M.S., MGH INSTITUTE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS, 2009, 43 pages; 1473402


This pilot study investigated obstacles that prevent patients with aphasia from fully and willingly participating in the assessment process. More specifically, the study investigated the feasibility of using a version of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), modified to include multi-modal communication for people with aphasia, as an assessment tool to quantify dynamic sitting and standing balance. The study examined the relationship between auditory comprehension scores and performance on the original BBS versus the Modified Berg Balance Scale (MBBS) of 15 participants with aphasia and three control participants. We tested the hypothesis that individuals with aphasia would achieve higher scores on the MBBS than on the BBS due to increased comprehension of instructions and thereby demonstrate scores consistent with their true physical abilities. Patients with aphasia performed significantly better on the MBBS than on the BBS, although patients with lower auditory comprehension scores did not perform significantly better on the MBBS than those with higher auditory comprehension scores, overall. Implications of this study suggest that modifying assessments, such as the BBS, by reducing linguistic complexity and adding visual and written cues, along with modeling and repetition, has the potential to increase the validity of some healthcare assessments.

AdviserMarjorie Nicholas
Source TypeThesis
SubjectsCommunication; Speech therapy
Publication Number1473402

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