Number of test trials needed for performance stability and interrater reliability of the one leg stand test in patients with a major non-traumatic lower limb amputation.

Principal investigator’s: Anni Østergaard Nielsen, Ulla Madsen Topp, Berit Jakobsen, Helle Gybel Juul-Larsen, Kirsten Juel Nielsen.

Principal supervisor: Morten Tange Kristensen

Co-supervisor(s): Thomas Linding Jakobsen

Research initiative: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research – Copenhagen (PMR-C).

Time frame: 2010-13

Background: The one leg stand test (OLST) is commonly used to evaluate balance in patients following a lower limb amputation, but different procedures are used for testing. To our knowledge, the numbers of trials needed for lower limb amputee patients to perform their best, in addition to, the reproducibility of the OLST have not been examined. Thus, the validity of previous OLST findings for lower limb amputee patients might be questioned. 

Purpose: To examine the OLST for 1) number of test trials needed to achieve performance stability, 2) interrater reliability and agreement, and 3) to provide a detailed description of how to perform the test.

Experimental approach: Inclusion criteria are the ability to perform the OLST in the acute orthopedic ward, within the first 2-3 weeks following amputation. Patients are instructed to perform five subsequent OLST trials with one-minute seated rest intervals between trials. Patients included in the reliability part of the study are to perform the OLST in two separate sessions at the same day, supervised by two independent physical therapists (one session each). By randomization, half the patients perform the first OLST-session supervised by physical therapist A; the other half begin supervised by physical therapist B. The physical therapists are blinded to each other’s ratings until end of study.



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