This test is used to evaluate a patient's position sense, joint position sense, proprioception, vestibulocochlear function, muscle power

Performing the Test

  1. Patient: stands with feet together and eyes open
  2. Observe for any postural sway
  3. Have patient close both eyes for 30 s and observe the ability to maintain upright posture with minimal postural sway
  4. Positive: patient unable to maintain position with eyes closed
  5. Cerebellar ataxia: unable to maintain position with eyes open and closed


  1. Bickley, Lynn S. Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2003.