The key question discussed in this bachelor thesis is as follows:
Which of the following three balance assessments – Star Excursion Balance Test, Y-Balance Test and single leg squat – has the strongest efficiency during the physiotherapeutic process regarding the return to sport decision after lower limb injury of athletically active people. The aforementioned assessments will be analysed by their reliability and outcome measures.
The aim of the Bachelor Thesis 1 was to define the important terms and start gathering important information for comparing the three balance assessments referring to their reliability and outcome measures considering dynamic balance. Although, all three assessments offer a lot of literature, the literature research has shown that there is not as much literature to be found as expected, because of aiming to not include studies that consider laboratory setting.
Furthermore, it was notable that the RTS decision is a very complex part of risk management, as well as the right choice of the assessments to be used in order to assess an athlete’s functional abilities (Ardern et al., 2016). Clearly, there is not only one assessment that gives physiotherapists the important information to decide on the right RTS moment, yet balance abilities should not be missing from being part of such called functional test batteries (Cohen et al., 1993). Fact is, that the importance of neuromuscular control is repeatedly mentioned among different studies, not only for sport performance but also for daily functioning and therefore, despite of using the described balance assessments as a test, they are also being used as part of intervention (Bailey et al., 2011; Gray, 1995).
In the Bachelor Thesis 2, the reliability will be compared with a matrix including the results of different articles to show which assessment has the highest reliability rate. With reference to the ‘outcome measures’, a lot of studies seem to interpret this term in a different way and therefore this seems to be the most challenging part to be compared, especially considering assessing dynamic balance as part of the RTS decision. Notably for the SLS test, there seem to be different ways to document results, depending on what is aimed to be tested and most of the studies include electromyography to assess muscle activity, which is not the aim of this thesis. The question is, if there is a standardized and simple documentation form of the outcome measures for each balance assessment and what abilities and/ or functional deficiencies these outcome measures represent. The outcome measures will also be compared in a matrix.
Ardern, C. L., Glasgow, P., Schneiders, A., Witvrouw, E., Clarsen, B., Cools, A., … Bizzini, M. (2016). 2016 Consensus statement on return to sport from the First World Congress in Sports Physical Therapy, Bern. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(14), 853–864. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096278
Bailey, R., Selfe, J., & Richards, J. (2011). The single leg squat test in the assessment of musculoskeletal function: A Review. Physiotherapy Practice and Research, 32(2), 18–23. doi:10.3233/PPR-2011-32204
Cohen, H., Blatchly, C., & Gombash, L. (1993). A study of the clinical-test of sensory interaction and balance. Physical Therapy, 73(6), 346–351. doi:10.1093/ptj/73.6.346
Gray, G. W. (1995). Lower extremity functional profile. Adrian, MI: Wynn Marketing, Inc.