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Use of the Sharpened Romberg as a Screening for Fall Risk

A Pilot Study

Gras, Laura Z. PT, DPT, DSc, MS, GCS; Pohl, Patricia S. PhD, PT; Epidy, John PT, DPT; Godin, Brittany PT, DPT; Hoessle, Naida PT, DPT

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April/June 2017 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 113–117
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000145
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A quick screening test to determine older adults' fall risk would be beneficial given that the physical therapist has limited time to complete an initial examination. The purpose of this study was to determine whether performance on the sharpened Romberg is associated with fall risk, mobility, and gait measures. Results of data from 34 adults at least 60 years of age revealed that the ability to attain and hold the tandem stance position for the sharpened Romberg is associated with low fall risk. The sharpened Romberg can serve as a quick balance screen that requires minimal space and equipment.

Physical Therapy Department, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York (Dr Gras); Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff (Dr Pohl); and Physical Therapy Department, The Sage Colleges, Troy, New York (Drs Epidy, Godin, and Hoessle).

Correspondence: Laura Z. Gras, PT, DPT, DSc, MS, GCS, Physical Therapy Department, Ithaca College, 953 Danby Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 (

The investigators received funding from Schacht Faculty Research grant, The Sage Colleges.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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