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Berg Balance and Assistive Device Use

Sharon L. Gorman, PT, DPTSc, GCS

September 28, 2016

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Question

Can you have a patient use an assitive device when using the Berg to predict fall risk?  

Answer

On the Berg if you are doing it in a reliable way and the way it was intended, you cannot have the patient use an assistive device.  If you have the patient use an assistive device on the Berg you cannot use those predictive fall values to compare yours patients results because you are preforming the test in a way that it was not being done when those values were calculated.  If a patient really needs to use an assistive device, you should use another outcome measure too.  


sharon l gorman

Sharon L. Gorman, PT, DPTSc, GCS

Sharon L. Gorman, PT, DPTSc, GCS, FNAP is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. She received her DSc in Physical Therapy from UCSF/SFSU, an MS in Health Science at San Francisco State University, and a BS in Physical Therapy from Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles. Clinically, her area of expertise is acute care physical therapy having worked in a variety of different types of hospitals from large academic teaching hospitals to small community hospitals.  Dr. Gorman is a board certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist and also holds advanced certification and training in assessment and treatment of vestibular disorders and in neurodevelopmental treatment approaches for adults with hemiplegia. She is the President of the Acute Care Section-APTA. Dr. Gorman has been involved with interprofessional teaching and research for over 8 years with the UCSF/UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program and the Northern California Geriatric Education Center as their consultant physical therapist. She enjoys traveling and providing global medical service and physical therapy in developing countries such as Haiti and Panama.


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