Clinical Practice Guidelines

Evaluating Gait, Strength and Balance

Key Recommendations

  • Assessment tools are used to evaluate the components of impaired balance, decreased strength and abnormal gait that any healthcare provider trained in their use can complete.

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

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 use               to assess for possible gait, strength or balance impairments.

Mobility Assessment Tests

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

To support you in 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 administer, please click on the brochure image of the Mobility Assessment Guidelines.

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.

Resources

 

  • Algorithm for Fall Risk Screening, Assessment and Intervention
    • Developed by NB Trauma​

  • Fall Risk Factors Checklist

    • Developed by NB Trauma

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The information contained on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your primary care provider or a qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, or before beginning any exercise program.

Toll-Free Seniors Information Line 

 

The toll-free Seniors Information Line provides a traditional method of speaking with a bilingual, customer-service oriented telephone agent. For basic information about provincial programs and services for older adults, their family and caregivers please contact:

1-855-550-0552

Tele-Care 

 

If you or someone you know requires non-urgent health advice or information, call Tele-Care. A registered nurse will assess your needs and provide information, education and/or advice as required. For access to this confidential and bilingual toll-free telephone service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week please dial:

8-1-1

For medical emergencies, call  911  immediately or visit your local emergency department.

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