Test-retest reliability of postural stability on two different foam pads

Chia-Cheng Lin, Jennica L Roche, Daniel P Steed, Mark C Musolino, Greg F marchetti, Gabriel R Furman, Mark S Redfern, Susan L Whitney

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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Objective: Foam pads are commonly used devices in the clinics and laboratories to assess postural control. However, no reliability data are presently available to support the use of one type of foam over another. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the test-rest reliability of postural sway parameters while using two different types of foam that are commonly used and to determine which type of foam is optimal for providing a consistent and effective perturbation. Design: Test-retest reliability. Setting: Clinical setting. Participants:  Ten healthy young subjects were recruited. Main outcome Measures: The Balance Accelerometry Measure device was used to collect postural sway for 90 seconds with eyes open and closed on three different surface conditions (firm, Airex foam and Neurocom foam). Intraclass correlation coefficients were used to determine test-retest reliability. Results: Eyes open and eyes closed on a firm surface showed fair to good reliability for the path length value (ICC (3,1) = 0.61-0.64, p <0.05). Eyes open and eyes closed on the Airex pad showed fair to excellent reliability for the path length value (ICC (3,1) = 0.41-0.81, p >0.05 with eyes open and eyes closed). Eyes open and eyes closed on the Neurocom foam showed fair to good reliability for the path length value (ICC (3,1)= 0.29-0.45, p >0.05). Conclusions: The Airex and Neurocom foam pads both provide fair to good reliability. The Airex foam had higher reliability scores with eyes closed than the Neurocom foam pad. Both foam pads appear to produce repeatable findings. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(2):e43, 2015.

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