Reliability of postural control measures in children and young adolescents

Stefania Barozzi, Marina Socci, Daniela Soi, Federica Di Berardino, Giovanni Fabio, Stella Forti, Anna M. Gasbarre, Daniele Brambilla, Antonio Cesarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many studies have been carried out regarding postural stability during pediatric age, reliable information and a complete analysis of all age groups are still lacking. The purpose of this study was to verify the test-retest reliability of posturographic parameters in four sensory conditions and provide normative values for children and young adolescents. 289 subjects, aged 6-14 years, were assessed by means of the static posturography system SVeP. 173 elementary school pupils (114 males and 59 females, aged 6-10 years; mean age 8.80 ± 1.53) and 116 middle school students (60 males and 56 females, aged 11-14 years; mean age 12.6 ± 0.9) underwent static posturography in two consecutive trials with four testing conditions: eyes open and eyes closed with and without foam pads. The participants were divided into nine age groups. Thirty healthy young adults were also recruited for comparison. The analysis of test-retest reliability demonstrated an excellent reliability of velocity measurement and a moderate reliability of area measurement. Velocity and area decreased significantly with age in all sensory conditions, indicating an improvement in postural control from childhood to adolescence. Postural stability had not reached the adult level by the age of 13-14 years. Reliable information regarding postural stability can be obtained in children and young adolescents by means of stabilometric parameters. These data can be used as a reference for early detection of atypical postural development and for the assessment of dizziness and balance disorders in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2069-2077
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Normative values
  • Postural control
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Medicine(all)


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