CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES

Evaluating gait, strength and balance 

Key Recommendations

  • Certain assessment tools may be used to identify mobility-related fall risks factors such as impaired balance, decreased strength and abnormal gait.

  • Tools such as the Timed Up and Go, the 4 Stage Balance test and the 30-Second Chair Stand Test can be conducted in most clinical setting by any healthcare provider trained in their use.

Evaluating gait, strength and balance

  • Timed Up and Go

  • 4 Stage Balance Test

  • 30-Second Chair Stand Test

  • It is important to keep in mind that each test needs to be chosen for how well they can detect an older patient's specific type of impairment. No one test can assess all aspects of mobility.

Timed Up and Go Test: The purpose of this test is to identify any gait and balance abnormalities. 

4 Stage Balance Test: The purpose of this test is to assess static balance

30 Second Chair Stand Test: The purpose of this test is to assess leg strength and endurance

NOTE: Other validated tests such as the Berg Balance Scale and the Tinetti Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment may be                    used to assess for possible gait, strength or balance impairments.

Mobility Assessment

Completing a comprehensive mobility assessment can be challenging for some due to limitations in available space, time or other factors.

To facilitate this process, we encourage you to consult our mobility assessment guidelines which includes information on how to complete and interpret the results of the Timed Up and Go, the 4-Stage Balance Test and the 30-Second Chair Stand Test.

For more information about these recommended tests which are quick and easy to complete, please click on the brochure image of the Mobility Assessment Guidelines.

Mobility Assessment - English.png

Next Step:

If signs of unsteadiness were observed or if the result of the mobility assessment test indicates that the patient scored below the normal range for their age, proceed with Multifactorial Fall Risk Assessment.

OR

If NO signs of unsteadiness were observed or if the result of the mobility assessment test indicates that the patient who reports a single fall or less in the past year scored in the normal range for their age, provide individualized interventions for an older patient at LOW RISK for falls.*

*If the patient presents for medical attention because of a fall, reports recurrent (≥2) falls in the past year or reports difficulties with their gait or balance    (with or without activity curtailment), complete a multifactorial fall risk assessment.

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