Reliability and validity of the sideways step test and its correlation with motor function after stroke.

Research paper by Eva Y F EY Pang, Shirley S M SS Fong, Mimi M Y MM Tse, Eric W C EW Tam, Shamay Sm SS Ng, Billy C L BC So

Indexed on: 17 Jul '15Published on: 17 Jul '15Published in: Journal of physical therapy science


[Purpose] This study investigated the intra-rater, inter-rater and test-retest reliability of the sideways step test (SST), its correlation with other indicators of stroke-specific impairment, and the cut-off count best discriminating subjects with stroke from their healthy counterparts. [Subjects and Methods] Forty-three subjects with chronic stroke and 41 healthy subjects older than 50 years participated in this study. The SST was administered along with the Fugl-Meyer motor assessment for the lower extremities (FMA-LE), the five-times sit to stand (5TSTS) test, the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the movement velocity (MVL) by the limits of stability (LOS) test, the ten-metre walk (10mW) test, the timed "Up and Go" (TUG) test and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale. [Results] The SST showed good to excellent intra-rater, inter-rater and test-retest reliability. The SST counts correlated with 5TSTS times, 10mW times, TUG times, and the FMA-LE and BBS scores. SST counts of 11 for the paretic leg and 14 for the non-paretic leg were found to distinguish the healthy adults from subjects with stroke. [Conclusion] The sideways step test is a reliable clinical test, which correlates with the functional strength, gait speed, and functional balance of people with chronic stroke.