Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Jim Neutens, June Gorski, John Orme, Buck Jones
This study investigated the impact of a four-week foam-support balance training program on falls self-efficacy in assisted-living older adults. A Falls Self-Efficacy Scale (FES) and four balance performance measures (single-leg stand, tandem stand, functional reach, and eight-foot up-and-go) were completed to measure functional status and fear of falling. The sample consisted of fifteen older adults from two separate assisted-living facilities. Participants (N = 8) from one facility served as the control group, while those (N = 7) from the other facility represented the intervention group. There were 6 females and 2 males in the control group ranging in age from 79 to 86 years (M = 83, SD = 3.52). The 3 females and 4 males in the intervention group, ranged in age from 86 to 93 years (M = 89, SD = 2.73). FES scales and balance measures were completed on the same day. The pre-test-adjusted post-test mean for falls efficacy level in the intervention group (M = 13.82) was less than in the control group (M = 16.73). Pre-test‑adjusted post-test means for single-leg stand, tandem stand, and functional reach scores for the intervention group were higher than those for the control group, (M = 5.50 vs. M = 3.35; M = 308.55 vs. M = 171.73; M = 11.40 vs. M = 10.34, respectively). For the eight-foot up-and-go test, the pre-test‑adjusted post-test mean score for the intervention group (M = 11.81) was lower than for the control group (M = 12.3). Results suggest that the older adults who participated in the four-week balance training program may have reduced their fear of falling and improved their balance; however, there were no statistically significant differences between the groups, except for the single-leg stand.
Hurtubise, James Norman, "Effects of Balance Training On Falls Efficacy for Older Adults Residing In Assisted- Living Facilities. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2006.