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The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) has frequently been used to measure motor control and residual functional deficits at different stages of recovery from lateral ankle sprain (LAS) in various populations. However, the validity of the measure used to characterize performance—the maximal reach distance (MRD) measured by visual estimation—is still unknown.
To evaluate the concurrent validity of the MRD in the SEBT estimated visually vs the MRD measured with a 3D motion-capture system and evaluate and compare the discriminant validity of 2 MRD-normalization methods (by height or by lower-limb length) in participants with or without LAS (n = 10 per group).
There is a high concurrent validity and a good degree of accuracy between the visual estimation measurement and the MRD gold-standard measurement for both groups and under all conditions. The Cohen d ratios between groups and MANOVA products were higher when computed from MRD data normalized by height.
The results support the concurrent validity of visual estimation of the MRD and the use of the SEBT to evaluate motor control. Moreover, normalization of MRD data by height appears to increase the discriminant validity of this test.
The authors are with the CIRRIS Research Centre and the Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, QC, Canada.