Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson

Keywords

Accidental Falls; Aged

Abstract

The elderly in America represent a population that is continually growing. As part of the aging process, various changes occur that contribute to falls. Therefore, as the number of elderly people in America increases, the possibility of falls in the elderly also increases.

The consequences of falls in the elderly are significant. Some of the more serious consequences include functional decline, increased medical cost, and death. Therefore, the scope of the problem is clear; strategies to prevent falls and treat those who have fallen are indicated.

The purpose of this independent study is to review the literature pertaining to falls in the elderly and to describe the physical therapy interventions for this problem. The definition of falls and the major causes of falls are presented. Components of a physical therapy evaluation for falls in the elderly, common clinical and laboratory tests, and preventive and treatment strategies are also covered. Finally, the efficacy of physical therapy in the management of falls in the elderly and possibilities for future research relating to this problem are presented.

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