Nicholas G. Murray, Eileen Fernandez, Anthony P. Salvatore, Rebecca J. Reed-Jones
Murray et al., J Clin Transl Res 2016; 2(4): 123-128
Published online: 12 December, 2016


Background and Aim: To evaluate the Wii Basic Balance Test (WBBT), as a tool for detecting postural instability in athletes with concussions. Methods: Seventy-nine healthy physically active controls (NORM) (mean age 21.23 ± 1.78), and fifty-six athletes with concussions (CONC) (mean age 19.39 ± 2.145) participated in this study. All participants performed the Wii Basic Balance Test, which requires the participants to shift weight mediolaterally to maintain a red bar within a blue area denoted on the screen for three seconds during set levels of difficulty. CONC were included in the study within 24-48 hours of the initial concussion injury. Seven one-way ANOVAs assessed differences for each (1) Mean total number of WBBT Levels completed (TL), (2) Mean total seconds to complete all WBBT Level (TT), (3) Time to complete Level 1 (L1), (4) Time to complete Level 2 (L2), (5) Time to complete Level 3 (L3), (6) Time to complete Level 4 (L4), (7) Time to complete Level 5 (L5). Results: CONC completed significantly fewer Levels of the WBBT (p=0.032) when compared to NORM. Athletes with Concussions took a significantly longer time to complete L1 (p=0.002) when compared to CONC. Post-hoc Chi-Square analysis determined a significantly greater (p=0.015) proportion (39%) of CONC successfully completed WBBT L5 when compared to the proportion (19%) of CONC. Follow up ROC curves revealed a Sn=0.392 and a Sp=0.821 for TL with a cutoff value of 4 levels, Sn=0.875 and a Sp=0.253 for L1 with a cutoff value of 4.4 seconds, and Sn=0.804 and a Sp=0.392 for those who successfully completed the WBBT L5. Conclusion: WBBT could be a low cost object method of assessing postural instability within 24-48 hours post-concussion. Relevance for Patients: This data could provide health providers with an alternative method to measuring the presence of postural instability post-concussion injury.


Author affiliations

1 School of Health and Kinesiology, College of Health Sciences, Georgia Southern University, United States of America
2 Speech Language Pathology Program, College of Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, United States of America
3 Department of Applied Human Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Prince Edward Island

*Corresponding author: 

Nicholas G. Murray 

School of Health & Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University,Statesboro, GA 30460-8076, United States 

Tel: +1 912 478-0203 


Handling editor:

Rowan van Golen 

Department of Experimental Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands


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