Mobility issues secondary to strength, balance, and walking problems affect up to 80 percent of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Providers and therapists use a variety of scales and tools to measure the extent of these issues such as:
- The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is a measure of balance that uses a 14-item scale and is scored based upon the results 0-56.
- The 6-minute walk (6MW) is a measure of walking endurance.
- Handheld Dynamometry (HHD) is a way to quantify manual muscle strength testing.
There is a lot of emerging research about “MS biomarkers,” which are values that look for ways to predict how patients will do in the future. The above tests are “physical biomarkers” of patient performance that may be able to be used as measures of disease state and change over time.
Often patients and clinicians are left wondering how accurate the results of these tests are. For instance, if provider A performs a functional test on a patient, will provider B get the same results if administering the same test to the same patient?