What is a Balance Test?
are evaluations that practitioners conduct to assess one’s ability to maintain stability and equilibrium. If a practitioner wants to conduct said tests on the patient, it’s because of one of two things. One, they want to measure the patient's general balance and how they maintain it in different daily situations to reduce the risk of getting an injury. Or two, they want to examine one’s vestibular system, one of the critical systems needed to maintain balance, for any vestibular disorders.
Various tests are offered depending on the purpose of the practitioner and the patient they’re working with. We’ve provided a list of the common ones below:
General Balance Tests
- Berg Balance Scale (BBS)
- Romberg Test
- Four-Square Step Test
- Y-Balance Test
- Balance Evaluation Systems Test
Vestibular Disorder Tests
- Dix-Hallpike Test
- Caloric Test
- Rotary Chair Test
- Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP)
- Electronystagmography (ENG)
These balance tests serve various purposes, such as identifying balance issues, monitoring progress during rehabilitation, assessing fall risk in the elderly, and evaluating the performance of athletes. They help healthcare professionals and trainers tailor interventions and exercises to improve balance and reduce the risk of injuries.
How does it work?
Step One. Access and Download the Template
You are free to access and download the Balance Test template PDF file to have on hand doing either of the following:
- Clicking the “Use Template” or “Download Template” button
- Searching “Balance Test” in Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the app or website
Step Two. Interview and Assess the Patient
To determine which of the tests you will request to be conducted on the patient, you must first interview and examine the patient. Only then do you use the template to list the balance tests you request. At this point, you may explain to the patient the tests you plan to have them undergo for their consent and peace of mind.
Step Three. Testing
During this step, you will leave the patient in the hands of the technician or practitioner in charge of conducting a test. Each practitioner has their own set of standard operation procedures to follow, and it will differ depending on the test they will conduct.
Step Four. Obtaining and Interpreting Results
After the patient obtains the test results, you may proceed to interpret the results and explain your findings based on them to the patient. If interpretations are written on the test results, it’s up to you to contextualize them and connect them to the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
Step Five. Next Steps
Once all results have been interpreted and explained, clinical decisions of either creating/confirming a diagnosis or formulating a treatment plan must be made.
Step Six. Store Securely
Before ending the session, we recommend that you store the filled-out template and the results securely. You can store digital copies on Carepatron and organize them for easy access.
Balance Test Example (sample)
We’ve provided a PDF file of a filled-out “Balance Test” template. Feel free to use this for an idea of how to use the template in your practice. Do note, however, that the answers in the template are fictional.
Obtain a copy by clicking the “Download Example PDF” button or the sample below.
When would you use this test?
Since there’s a wide variety of balance tests designed for different purposes, there are also several practitioners who can use this template to request them, including but not limited to:
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Sports Doctors
- Geriatric Specialists
Each of them has their own reason to use the template to request balance tests. But to help you out, we’ve listed some of the common situations when healthcare practitioners can use the template:
- Clinical/Fall Risk Assessment: If the patient expresses concerns or exhibits symptoms of balance-related conditions and disorders, like abnormalities in gait, dizziness, and falling often, you may use this template to request tests to help you diagnose, determine the treatment/rehabilitation plan, or decide on preventive measures.
- Tracking Progress: Practitioners caring for patients in rehabilitation can use the template to request balance tests that can help them track or monitor the patient’s progress.
- Assessments: Even if the patient isn’t injured or exhibiting symptoms of a balance-related condition or disorder, the practitioner can still use this template to request balance tests for performance improvement, injury prevention, work/fitness evaluations, and a better understanding of their physical capabilities/limits.
What do the results mean?
It’s understood that results and their interpretation will vary depending on the test the practitioner requests the patient to undergo. So, it’s best to do your own research upon receiving the results or even before requesting the test. To get you started, we can provide you with the free balance tests we have in our library:
- Berg Balance Rating: If the patient has a score of 44 or less, it means the patient has a risk of falling. The higher the score, the greater their risk of falling.
- Romberg Test: A positive test means the patient has a potential proprioceptive or vestibular system dysfunction and must undergo further examination.
- Four Square Step Scoring: A negative test, wherein the patient cannot do the test after two attempts, means that the patient has an increased risk of falls.
- Y Balance Test: Patients with a Composite Reach Distance percentage lower than the chosen baseline - 89% or 94% - have a higher risk of losing their balance and obtaining an injury.
- Parkinson’s Balance Test: Positive results for any of these tests mean that the patient has difficulty balancing themselves and that their condition has severely impacted this capability of theirs.
Research & Evidence
Research and evidence will vary depending on the test, and we recommend that you research to know more about each test’s specificity and sensitivity. One thing’s for sure, however, is that most of the balance tests aren’t meant to be used as the sole basis for diagnosis.
Why use Carepatron as your Balance app?
The Carepatron software and app offer more than Balance test templates. In fact, it is one of the general practice software that various healthcare providers use to be more productive and efficient when managing their practice.
Carepatron is an all-in-one software with tools and features that have been helping healthcare practitioners automate tasks and streamline processes related to:
On Carepatron, healthcare practitioners can process payments quickly and offer more payment options to their patients and clients.
Carepatron offers over 1,000 templates of medical documents, invoices, and notes healthcare practitioners customize and fill out. Furthermore, they can store all of these securely on our software.
Searching for patient records is much easier with Carepatron’s patient portal.
With Carepatron, healthcare practitioners can set up a system that can send automated reminders of upcoming appointments, as well as payment reminders, to clients and patients.
Ensure that you have practice management software that can keep up with you. Sign up for an account on Carepatron to get free access today!