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Comparison of the Balance Error Scoring System and the NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test in healthy, physically active adults

Kalajainen, Amy (2015) Comparison of the Balance Error Scoring System and the NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test in healthy, physically active adults. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Concussion is a common occurrence in athletics and requires a comprehensive exam, including assessment of postural stability. The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is recommended by the NCAA/NATA for sideline evaluation. The NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test (SOT) is a dynamic posturography assessment tool that uses somatosensory and visual input to challenge the somatosensory, visual and vestibular systems. Due to significant negative outcomes associated with mismanaged concussions, a sideline assessment must appropriately measure each component of postural stability. Purpose: To examine the relationship between the BESS and the SOT clinical scores and kinetic variables. Methods: Nineteen healthy, physically active young adults (22.162.59 years, 168.5622.24cm, 73.2415.28kg) were tested using the BESS and the SOT in a single session. The BESS tested six-conditions, including bilateral, single leg and tandem stances, each assessed on firm and foam surfaces. The SOT tested six-conditions, including eyes open, eyes closed and sway surround, each tested on a stable and sway support surface. Overall and condition error scores from the BESS were compared to SOT composite score and somatosensory, visual and vestibular component scores. Kinetic variables of standard deviation of vertical ground reaction force (SDvGRF) and total sway were calculated for each condition of the BESS and the SOT and compared between assessments. Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated. Significance was set at P<0.05 a priori. Results: The clinical scores of the BESS and the SOT demonstrated one significant association (SOT somatosensory component and BESS tandem on firm error score, r=-0.493, p=0.032). In contrast, significant correlations were observed between several BESS and SOT SDvGRF variables (r=0.458 – 0.760, p<0.05) and sway variables (r=0.465 – 0.681, p<0.05). Conclusion: Based on these results, the error scoring system of the BESS should be reevaluated to determine if magnitude of error scoring would increase association with SOT clinical scores. Additionally, there may not be a significant vestibular challenge with the BESS associated with inaccurate visual input. Future research should investigate potential modifications to improve the BESS for clinical use in concussion assessment to create a more comprehensive tool that incorporates magnitude of error scoring and a heightened vestibular challenge through inaccurate visual input.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kalajainen, Amyamk208@pitt.eduAMK208
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAllison, Katelyn Fleishmankaf14@pitt.eduKAF14
Committee MemberSell, Timothy Ctcs15@pitt.eduTCS15
Committee MemberLovalekar, Mitamtl13@pitt.eduMTL13
Committee MemberWilliams, Valerievjw5@pitt.eduVJW5
Date: 29 May 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 March 2015
Approval Date: 29 May 2015
Submission Date: 8 April 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 108
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: postural stability balance concussion vestibular BESS NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test
Date Deposited: 29 May 2015 17:14
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:26


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