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Original article| Volume 42, 102085, July 2020

Assessing balance in non-disabled subjects with multiple sclerosis: Validation of the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale

      Highlights

      • FAB-s evaluates balance, testing all of the systems for postural control.
      • This tool detects subtle changes in balance performance in non-disabled PwMS.
      • FAB-s discriminates between healthy controls and non-disabled PwMS.

      Abstract

      Objective

      To validate the Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) scale for high-functioning non-disabled people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS).

      Design

      Cross-sectional study.

      Participants

      A convenience sample of early-diagnosed PwMS (N = 82; Expanded Disability Status Scale score ≤ 2.5) with disease duration ≤ 5 years and a control group of healthy volunteers (N = 45).

      Main Outcome Measures

      FAB scale, Timed Up and Go test (TUG), 6 Min Walk Test (6MWT) and 25 Foot Walk Test (25FWT).

      Results

      Six of the ten original FAB scale items were selected to represent a unidimensional construct. Only one factor with eigenvalues > 1.0 (1.90) was found. The new version of the scale reported a Cronbach alpha value of 0.65, and it was also statistically significantly correlated with TUG (r = -0.48). The new six-item scale, dubbed the FAB-short scale (FAB-s), discriminated between healthy volunteers and PwMS; moreover, both the FAB-s and the TUG test discriminated between the two PwMS subgroups: EDSS=0–1.5 (no disability) and EDSS=2–2.5 (minimal disability).

      Conclusions

      FAB-s is a unidimensional clinical tool for assessing balance. The scale is a promising instrument for detecting subtle changes in balance performance in high-functioning PwMS.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      MS (multiple sclerosis), PwMS (people with MS), EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale), FAB (Fullerton Advanced Balance), EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis), HC (Healthy Control), TUG (Timed Up and Go), 6MWT (6 Minute Walk Test), 25FWT (25 Foot Walk Test), FAB-s (Fullerton Advanced Balance short scale), ROC (receiver Operating Characteristic), AUC (area Under the Curve)
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