Assessment of dynamic walking balance in children with acquired brain injury
Children with brain injuries typically present with walking and balance difficulties, and successful rehabilitation depends on the therapist's ability to measure and understand the different components of gait accurately. Professional guidelines stress the need for adequate outcome measurement. Despite this, there is no standardised assessment of walking balance in children for use in clinical assessment. Measurement tools range from observational to three-dimensional gait analysis. Observational analysis lacks reliability and accuracy whilst clinical gait analysis is time-consuming and costly, requires complex nterpretation and is not routinely available to clinicians. Portable sensors and pressure sensitive devices have recently emerged as alternatives. In situations where it is preferable to avoid attachments to the child, the measurement of the forces or pressures generated by the body to control its movement and balance offers a practical solution. This review will discuss the advantages and limitations of these tools.