Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Meridee Danks

Keywords

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

Abstract

Introduction: Stepping On is a 7-week comprehensive fall program aimed at reducing falls for the community-dwelling elderly. Participants are educated on balance and strengthening exercises, and the influence medications, visions, inclement weather, etc. has on safety and falls.

Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to utilize the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC) and survey results to determine if attendance of Stepping On improves balance confidence. Secondly, this research sought out to discover if increased balance confidence relates to decreased fall risk.

Methods: Participants of this were included 13 individuals initially (with one participant joining the 2nd week), but only 8 individuals participated in the program the entire duration to complete both Week 1 and Week 7 measures. These eight were all female ranging in age from 80-94, with a mean age of 88.1. All participants reside at the assisted-living facility in which Stepping On was held.

The ABC was administered via 1: 1 interview during Week 1 and Week 7 sessions. Participants completed the measure along with other measures, such as the TUG, Cognitive TUG, 30 second Sit to Stands, and Romberg's test. Participants completed the all activities at different stations.

Results: Six out of eight individuals showed an increase in their confidence following participation in Stepping On as per ABC score and subjective ratings. Two individuals also had a significant enough increase in their confidence to put them from "Fall Risk" (

Conclusion: Participation in Stepping On increases balance confidence in the elderly population. The ABC is a simple form that can be used to assess balance confidence changes before and after attendance of Stepping On. Limitations for the ABC-16 include: length of survey, time to complete survey, and minimal confusion in completing the survey appropriately.

Clinical Significance: Stepping On increases confidence in an age group that is not the typical population. The ABC can be easily incorporated as an objective functional assessment for future Stepping On programs. Future studies may be able to incorporate the ABC-S as an objective measure to decrease time taken to complete the form.

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