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Balance Assessment: Get-up & Go Test Cheat Sheet by

Determining a person risk for falling
test     assessment     balance     healthcare     get-up


The Get-up and Go Test is a brief assessment of gait and balance in older patients that has been used in the clinical setting. The patient is asked to stand up from a chair, walk a short distance, turn around, return to the chair, and sit down again. The patient's perfor­mance is then scored on a five-point scale, with a higher score indicating greater gait and balance problems as well as an increased risk of falling.

Test & Scoring

1. Sit comfor­tably in a straig­ht-­backed chair.
2. Rise from the chair.
3. Stand still moment­arily.
4. Walk a short distance (appro­xim­ately 3 meters).
5. Turn around.
6. Walk back to the chair.
7. Turn around.
8. Sit down in the chair.
Total Score
Inst­ruc­tio­ns: Ask the patient to perform the above series of maneuvers
Scor­ing: Observe the patient's movements for any deviation from a confident, normal perfor­mance. Use the following scale to score:
1 = Normal
2 = Very slightly abnormal
3 = Mildly abnormal
4 = Moderately abnormal
5 = Severely abnormal

Getup and Go Test

Interp­reting the Score

"­Nor­mal­" indicates that the patient gave no evidence of being at risk of falling during the test or at any other time. "­Sev­erely abnorm­al" indicates that the patient appeared at risk of falling during the test. Interm­ediate grades reflect the presence of any of the following as indicators of the possib­ility of falling: undue slowness, hesitancy, abnormal movements of the trunk or upper limbs, stagge­ring, stumbling.

A patient with a score of 3 or more on the Get-up and Go Test is at risk of falling.
Source: Mathias S, Nayak USL, Isaacs B. Balance in elderly patients
Arch Phys Med Rehabi­lit­ation. 1986;6­7:3­87-389.

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