Date of Award


Document Type

Distinction Paper


Health & Sport Sciences


Shelley Payne, DHS, PT, AT

First Committee Member

Joseph Wilkins

Second Committee Member

Jeffery Lehman


Augmented Feedback, Students with Disabilities, Fall Risks, Gait Disorders, Case Study, Enhance the BOBW

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy


Best of Both Worlds (BOBW) is a program at Otterbein University for Westerville City School District students who have identified disabilities. The BOBW program is a comprehensive transition program, providing instruction in work skills, community participation skills, independent living skills, and self-advocacy skills. Same-aged peers (Otterbein students) work with the BOBW students and assist them in the development of a healthy, active adult life, through a peer buddy workout program. Gait disorders are common in individuals with a neurological disorder. These gait disorders have then been linked to increased incidence for falls. Falls are one of the most common risks that individuals have due to leg weakness, sudden knee buckling, small slow steps, swaying gait, hyperkinetic gait, or a crouching gait. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of using auditory versus visual feedback on the gait patterns of college-age individuals with disabilities. The focus for this study was to examine the gait of these young adults with disabilities and provide two different interventions to attempt to improve gait parameters that have been associated with increased fall risk. This study could enhance the BOBW mission by implementing an intervention with the intention of improving the gait in individuals with neurological disabilities to improve their overall motor function and decrease injury risk.

This research was a case study with a pre/post-test design to examine the effect of auditory and visual feedback on the gait parameters of the two individuals in the study. Specifically the following three walking tests were implemented before and after the intervention: Timed “Up & Go” Test (TUG), the Two-Minute Walk Test (2MWT), and the Four Square Step Test (FSST). Participants took part in eight-weeks of augmented feedback intervention while walking on a treadmill. The participants were randomly assigned to participate in either metronome or visual retraining during the first four-weeks followed by the alternate intervention the following four-weeks. In this case study design, the subjects served as their own controls. Data was collected prior to any intervention, after the first type of feedback (4 weeks) and again at the end of the study (8 weeks). Descriptive statistics and graphs were implemented to compare the changes in the dependent variables over the eight-week study. After the eight-week study, both subjects improved in all dependent variables that were chosen for the study. Both subjects improved their gait and decreased fall risk factors as indicated by the improvement of the dependent variables across the course of the study. Although this study was a case study design, the improvements observed in both subjects lend support to further investigation of augmented feedback training as a way to improve gait parameters in young adults with disabilities. Further research with a larger sample size would need to be completed.