Faculty Advisor

Nicole Dawson, PT, PhD, GCS

Publication Date

Spring 2020


The NIH Toolbox® was developed to assess motor, sensory, emotional, and cognitive functions through the use of an iPad and iPod. The NIH has validated the Standing Balance Test within the motor domain for ages 3 through 85; however, no studies have examined its reliability and validity against established balance measurement tools such as the Biodex Balance System SD.

PURPOSE: This study aims to compare the NIH Toolbox® Standing Balance Test to the Biodex Balance System SD m-CTSIB.

METHODS: Participants were recruited from a convenient sample of members who participate in a learning institute at the local university. 93 active community-dwelling older adults (mean age 73, 55 female) completed two trials on each assessment. Both devices measured eyes open and closed on both a flat surface and a foam surface with the addition of tandem stance flat surface in the NIH Toolbox® .

RESULTS: The test retest reliability for the NIH Toolbox® was found to be reliable for each condition except condition 5 [ICC = (0.71-0.82)]. Validity as compared to the Biodex Balance System SD was acceptable given r = 0.52

CONCLUSION: These results should encourage the use of the NIH Toolbox® as both a valid and reliable tool for assessing those with balance impairments in the community. The NIH Toolbox® is more affordable and portable than the Biodex Balance System SD and will continue to be used in ongoing research and community assessment.

Access Status

UCF Only