Researchers at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark, have conducted a study to examine the reliability of the one-leg stand test (OLST) to assess balance in patients with a unilateral, nontraumatic lower-limb amputation. They found that the best of five trials of the OLST provided high rates of interrater reliability and acceptable agreement when using the score.
The study intended to use the OLST to determine the number of trials needed to achieve performance stability, the interrater reliability of the OLST, and attempted to provide a test procedure. The study cohort comprised13 women and 23 men with a mean age of 67.4 years, 19 of whom had a transtibial amputation and 17 who had a transfemoral amputation. They performed the OLST at an average of 14.5 days post-amputation. All patients performed five timed OLST trials with one-minute rest intervals between trials. No learning curve was found for the five OLST trials, with the best of the five trials reaching a median of two-point-nine seconds. Only six patients were able to stand for more than ten seconds.
The study was published September 9 in the online version of the journal Gait & Posture.