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Psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale in ambulatory, community-dwelling, elderly people

Authors Elboim–Gabyzon M, Agmon M, Azaiza F

Received 15 November 2018

Accepted for publication 9 February 2019

Published 18 June 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1075—1084

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S194777

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Michal Elboim–Gabyzon,1 Maayan Agmon,2 Faisal Azaiza3

1Physical Therapy Department, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel; 2Department of Nursing, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel; 3School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Background: Fear of falling (FOF) is common among elderly individuals and can appear independently of a previous fall. FOF can start a vicious cycle by leading to a sedentary lifestyle and further FOF, with negative physical and mental consequences. The Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale is a popular, theoretically based, reliable and valid tool designed to assess FOF in ambulatory, community-dwelling, elderly people. A balance confidence measurement tool for Arabic-speaking ambulatory, community-dwelling, elderly individuals is lacking. The objective of the present study was to translate and culturally adapt the ABC to Arabic and to determine its psychometric properties in ambulatory, community-dwelling elderly people.
Materials and methods: This two-stage exploratory study included a forward and backward translation process and the administration of the Arabic ABC (A-ABC) via face-to-face interviews. In addition, performance-based clinical measures of balance were assessed, and two self-report physical function and disability questionnaires were administered. The study included 60 volunteers (34 women), with a mean age of 74.1±6.23 years, recruited from the Arab population of northern Israel. To determined test–retest reliability, the questionnaire was re-administered to 40 of the 60 participants twice at a 6–8-day interval.
Results: One of the 16 A-ABC scale items was modified to adjust for local climate. The main results included high internal consistency (Cronbach’s α=0.97), good to excellent structural coherence (corrected item-total correlation: 0.77–0.92); excellent test–retest reliability (ICC=0.98, confidence interval =0.08−3.05); low standard error of measure and low smallest real difference (3.5% and 9.64%, respectively); strong-to-moderate correlations with performance-based clinical measures of balance and self-report physical function and disability questionnaires; and a ceiling effect. A significant difference between genders and between fallers and non-fallers was demonstrated.
Conclusions: The A-ABC demonstrated excellent psychometric properties in elderly, Arabic-speaking, independently living individuals and can be used as a balance confidence measurement tool in research and clinical settings.

Keywords: reliability, validity, Arabic, balance confidence, elderly

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