Content » Vol 45, Issue 1

Original report

Potential of the smart balance master system to assess standing balance in people with incomplete spinal cord injury

Jean-François Lemay, Sylvie Nadeau
Institut de réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal , H3S 2J4 Montreal, Canada. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1067


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the concurrent validity of the Smart Balance Master (SBM) tests in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury.
Design: Correlational study.
Subjects: A total of 32 individuals with an American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale D spinal cord injury able to walk 10 m independently, with or without walking assistive devices.
Methods: Outcome measures obtained from static and dynamic balance tests while standing using the SBM were compared to data obtained from the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) (14 items).
Results: No difference in performance between paraplegic and tetraplegic subjects was noted in the SBM tests. No ceiling effect was apparent in the SBM tests. The highest levels of association with the BBS was found for the limits of stability test (–0.416 < R < –0.752, p ≤ 0.05). The limits of stability test also correlated significantly with the majority of the other SBM tests and, except for the weight-shifting test, was completed by all but two participants.
Conclusion: The limits of stability test of the SBM system appears to be useful for assessing dynamic standing-balance ability in spinal cord injury subjects and could potentially be used to complement the BBS.

Lay Abstract


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