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Impairments in Static Standing Balance Are Highly Prevalent Among Older Adults Receiving Home-Based Physical Therapy

Bohannon, Richard W. PT, NCS, EdD, DPT, FAPTA, FAHA, FASNR, CEEAA

Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy: July/September 2012 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 145–147
doi: 10.1519/JPT.0b013e318246ec56
Research Reports

Background and Purpose: Measures of balance are an important component of the physical therapist examination. This study investigated the usefulness of timed static stance durations for identifying balance impairments among patients receiving home-based physical therapy.

Methods: This study involved the retrospective retrieval of data from the records of 48 patients at least 60 years of age. Their balance was measured under 3 foot configurations; that is, feet apart, feet together, and on each foot.

Results: Every patient demonstrated impaired standing balance. Most, but not all could balance 30 seconds with the feet apart or together. Only 19 could maintain balance on each of both feet. Of those who could so balance, none was able to achieve the average time of normal individuals of comparable age.

Discussion and Conclusions: Although not able to identify all aspects of balance, timed durations of stance under different configurations demonstrate a high prevalence of balance impairments among patients receiving home-based physical therapy. As the tests are objective, fast, and require little space, they can be advocated in such a setting.

Physical Therapy Program, Department of Kinesiology, NeagSchool of Education, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

Address correspondence to: Richard W. Bohannon, PT, NCS, EdD, DPT, FAPTA, FAHA, FASNR, CEEAA, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269 (richard.bohannon@uconn.edu).

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2012 the Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association
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