Reliability of the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility in Frail Older Adults

Authors

  • Kenneth Rockwood MD,

    1. From the *Division of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine Research Unit, and Departments of Medicine§Mathematics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova ScotiaCapital District Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia
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  • Michael R. H. Rockwood,

    1. From the *Division of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine Research Unit, and Departments of Medicine§Mathematics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova ScotiaCapital District Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia
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  • Melissa K. Andrew MD,

    1. From the *Division of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine Research Unit, and Departments of Medicine§Mathematics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova ScotiaCapital District Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia
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  • Arnold Mitnitski PhD

    1. From the *Division of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine Research Unit, and Departments of Medicine§Mathematics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova ScotiaCapital District Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Address correspondence to Kenneth Rockwood, Centre for Health Care of the Elderly, Capital District Health Authority, Dalhousie University, 1421-5955 Veterans Memorial Lane, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 2E1. E-mail: Kenneth.Rockwood@dal.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To study the test–retest and interrater reliability of the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) in frail older adults.

DESIGN: Convenience sample of 167 frail older adults seen as part of routine care by an academic geriatrician at a tertiary care teaching hospital.

SETTING: Inpatient medical and geriatric wards, geriatric ambulatory care clinic, emergency department, home visits.

PARTICIPANTS: The interrater reliability sample consisted of 98 inpatients and 69 outpatients. The test–retest reliability sample tracked 63 of the inpatients over the first 2 days of their hospital stay.

MEASUREMENTS: Mobility and balance were assessed using the HABAM. Frailty was assessed using a frailty index based on a standardized Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. Reliability was assessed using Pearson correlations and the intraclass correlation coefficients.

RESULTS: The interrater reliability of the HABAM was 0.92 and ranged from 0.88 to 0.96 across settings for the various components (balance, transfers, mobility). Test–retest reliability was 0.91 (range 0.85–0.92).

CONCLUSION: The HABAM appears to be a reliable means of assessing mobility and balance in frail older adults.

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