Objective: To ascertain the existence of discordance between perceived and measured balance in persons with stroke and to examine the impact on walking speed and falls. Design: A secondary analysis of a phase three, multicentered randomized controlled trial examining walking recovery following stroke. Subjects: A total of 352 participants from the Locomotor Experience Applied Post-Stroke (LEAPS) trial. Methods: Participants were categorized into four groups: two concordant and two discordant groups in relation to measured and perceived balance. Number and percentage of individuals with concordance and discordance were evaluated at two and 12 months. Walking speed and fall incidence between groups were examined. Main measures: Perceived balance was measured by the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence scale, measured balance was determined by the Berg Balance Scale and gait speed was measured by the 10-meter walk test. Results: Discordance was present for 35.8% of participants at two months post stroke with no statistically significant change in proportion at 12 months. Discordant participants with high perceived balance and low measured balance walked 0.09 m/s faster at two months than participants with concordant low perceived and measured balance (p < 0.05). Discordant participants with low perceived balance and high measured balance walked 0.15 m/s slower than those that were concordant with high perceived and measured balance (p 1/2 0.0001) at 12 months. Concordant participants with high perceived and measured balance walked fastest and had fewer falls. Conclusions: Discordance existed between perceived and measured balance in one-third of individuals at two and 12 months post-stroke. Perceived balance impacted gait speed but not fall incidence.
- Balance confidence