Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Meridee Danks


Accidental Falls -- prevention & control; Aged, 80 and over; Postural Balance; Risk Assessment; Risk Factors


Introduction: The Stepping On program encompasses both a balance and strengthening exercise regimen that is targeted towards reducing falls in community-dwelling individuals over the age of 65, who have experienced a fall or are fearful of falling.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if the Four Stage Balance Test (FSBT) is an appropriate measure of fall risk in the Stepping On program and to determine if the Stepping On program is effective at reducing fall risk, measured by improved time performance.

Methods: Eight participants, all female, ages ranging from 80-94 years old (M=87.2) completed the FSBT at week one and week seven. The Four Stage Balance Test (FSBT) consists of maintaining the static position of four different stances: narrow base (feet together), semi-tandem, tandem, and single-leg stance (SLS). Each participant was to maintain each stance for 30 seconds without loss of balance.

Results/Conclusion: Five out of eight (62%) of the participants had increased times between pre- and post-test for the tandem stance. The mean improvement of the eight participants was 6.41 seconds. However, there was no statistically significant improvement in the tandem stance times. The FSBT is an appropriate test to be completed with the Stepping On program, due to its similar testing stances with the Stepping On exercises. The Stepping On program showed positive benefits such as an increase in confidences for all participants. However, using the FSBT as a predictor of fall risk showed that the Stepping On program did not change ability to perform static balance over the seven-week program.