Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 6, 2014
   Pages 1013 — 1022

Abstract — Fukuda and Babinski-Weil tests: Within-subject variability and test-retest reliability in nondisabled adults

Nicole Paquet, PhD;1–2* Anne Taillon-Hobson, MSc;1 Yves Lajoie, PhD2

1School of Rehabilitation Sciences and 2School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Abstract — The Fukuda Stepping Test and the Babinski-Weil test are clinical assessments that presumably reveal unilateral vestibular hypofunction. However, abnormal performances on both of these two tests have been found in nondisabled individuals. This study compared measures of lateral and longitudinal displacements and body rotation for both tests, as well as the within-subject variability and test-retest reliability of the measures. In addition, correlations between hand and foot dominance and these measures were studied. Fifty young, nondisabled participants performed three trials of the 100-step Fukuda test and three trials of the Babinski-Weil test. The testing session was repeated 7 d later (retest). Lateral displacement, body rotation, and within-subject variability of these two measures were larger on the Fukuda than the Babinski-Weil test. No difference in test-retest reliability was found between the two tests, and a significant correlation was found between body rotation on the Fukuda test and score on the Waterloo Footedness Questionnaire. There may have been smaller variability in results of the Babinski-Weil test because it contains fewer steps (36) than the 100-step Fukuda test. Future research should compare tests with an equal number of steps; in the meantime, the Babinski-Weil test seems to have better psychometric properties than the Fukuda test, at least in nondisabled individuals.

Key words: Babinski-Weil test, body rotation, Fukuda Stepping Test, hand and foot dominance, “Marche en étoile” test, test-retest reliability, vestibular hypofunction, vestibulospinal system, Waterloo Footedness Questionnaire, within-subject variability.


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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Paquet N, Taillon-Hobson A, Lajoie Y. Fukuda and Babinski-Weil tests: Within-subject variability and test-retest reliability in nondisabled adults. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(6):1013–22.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.09.0206
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