Date of Award
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Aged -- psychology; Accidental Falls -- prevention & control; Risk Factors
Introduction: Due to the high incidence of falls in the elderly population, there is a continued need to develop intervention strategies and prevention programs to help reduce the risk of fall related injuries. Stepping On is a 7 week program designed to reduce falls and build confidence in older adults. Participants are educated on balance and strengthening exercises along with information on home hazards, community mobility, safe footwear and equipment, coping, and many other topics to help reduce falls.
Purpose: To determine if group education and exercise classes, like Stepping On, improve balance confidence levels, if balance confidence is correlated to functional ability, and to determine if decreased balance confidence is correlated to increased fall risk.
Methods: Three participants were voluntarily recruited from the program Stepping On. The mean age of the population was 87 years and represented both male and female genders whom were all living at home independently and ambulating in the community. Participants were administered the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale on Week 1 and Week 7 of the Stepping On program along with the CDC Fall Risk Survey, the Stepping On workshop participation evaluation, a survey collecting demographic, mobility, and previous fall history, and the other outcome measures Timed Up and Go (TUG), a modified version of the Four Stage Balance Test (FSBT), and the 30-second Sit to Stand.
Results: Two participants continued the program Stepping On through Week 7. ABC scores from Week I to Week 7 suggest no significant change for both participants and both participants reported their balance confidence stayed the same via the Week 7 Stepping On survey. No participant had a fall during the program's duration.
Conclusion: Balance confidence may be related to functional ability, however, further research is needed to determine if decreased balance confidence is related to increased fall risk in older high functioning adult populations who not at a significant risk for falling and are already confident in their balance.
Yankovec, Erin, "The Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale and Its Use in the Stepping on Program to Determine the Relationship Between Balance Confidence and Fall Risk" (2017). Physical Therapy Scholarly Projects. 542.