Foam pad of appropriate thickness can improve diagnostic value of foam posturography in detecting postural instability

<p><b>Objective:</b> The present study investigated the effect of foam thickness on postural stability in patients with unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) during foam posturography.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> Static and foam posturography were performed in 33 patients (UVH group) and 30 healthy subjects (control group) with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC) on firm surface and on 1–5 foam pad(s). Sway velocity (SV) of center of pressure, standing time before falling (STBF) and falls reaction were recorded and analyzed.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> (1) SVs had an increasing tendency in both groups as the foam pads were added under EO and EC conditions. (2) STBFs, only in UVH group with EC, decreased with foam thickness increasing. (3) Significant differences in SV were found between the control and UVH group with EO (except for standing on firm surface, on 1 and 2 foam pad(s)) and with EC (all surface conditions). (4) Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that the SV could better reflect the difference in postural stability between the two groups while standing on the 4 foam pads with EC.</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b> Our study showed that diagnostic value of foam posturography in detecting postural instability might be enhanced by using foam pad of right thickness.</p>