Diagnostic Accuracy of the 3-Meter Backward Walk Test in Persons with Parkinson Disease

Valerie A. Carter, Becky G. Farley, Kay Wing, Hendrik "dirk" De Heer, Tarang K. Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To test diagnostic accuracy of the 3-Meter Backward Walk (3MBW) test for falls among 175 persons with Parkinson disease (PwP). Methods: Retrospective data analysis was performed on time for 3MBW test, forward walk tests (Timed Up and Go, TUG cognitive, and 10-Meter Walk), and the 5 times Sit-to-Stand test. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was completed to determine fall cutoff scores, and the optimal area under the curve (AUC) with sensitivity/specificity values was defined. Results: The 3MBW test at 4.2 seconds had the highest AUC (AUC = 0.699). Persons with Parkinson disease with advanced disease were slower for each test; the 3MBW was the only test that was significantly different across disease severity. Conclusion: The 3MBW test had the highest overall accuracy for retrospective falls and should be considered as part of battery of tests among persons with Parkinson disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • 3-Meter Backward Walk
  • Parkinson
  • Timed Up and Go
  • balance
  • fall risk
  • sensitivity
  • specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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