Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

D.H.S. in Health Science

College/School

College of Health Sciences

First Advisor

Barbara S. Robinson, PT, DPT

Second Advisor

Todd E. Daniel, PhD

Third Advisor

Elizabeth S. Moore, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Laura Santurri, PhD, MPH, CPH

Fifth Advisor

Stephanie Kelly, PT, PhD

Abstract

Fall prevention, and the subsequent reduction of fall-related injuries, is critically important for preserving independence among older adults. Cardiac phase II rehabilitation (CR) is a comprehensive medically supervised program allowing individuals with certain cardiac diagnoses or cardiac procedures to exercise in a safe environment. The relationship among lower extremity strength, lower extremity blood flow, and fall risk in community-dwelling older adults has been established; however, that relationship in the CR population remains unknown. This cross-sectional study used exploratory analysis to determine if the 30 second chair stand test (CST) and the ankle brachial index (ABI) could predict the score on the Functional Gait Assessment (FGA). A convenience sample (N = 57) of individuals aged 50 years and older, enrolled in a CR program, were selected. Data were collected during a single testing session. No correlation was found between the ABI and FGA score (r = .02, p = .438). A significant positive correlation was found between the CST and FGA score (r = .71, p < .001). Moreover, the CST significantly predicted the overall FGA score, accounting for 45% of the variance, F(2,54) = 23.97, p < .001, R2 = .47. Coefficient analyses revealed that the ABI was unrelated to FGA scores (b = -0.05, p = .608) and could be ignored; however, the CST was a significant predictor of FGA scores (b = 0.69, p <.001) and could be used by CR healthcare professionals as a fallrisk screening measure.

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