Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award

Spring 4-2024

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Allied Health-BA


Health & Sport Sciences


Dr. Ashley Simons, PT, DPT, PhD

First Committee Member

Ally Smith, PhD, AT

Second Committee Member

Regina Prosinski, DNP


Falls, Fall Prevention, Geriatric, Balance, Exercise Program

Subject Categories

Higher Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Rehabilitation and Therapy


When older adults experience a fall, the consequences can be detrimental to their health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to assess if an eight-week home based exercise program focused on improving balance was sufficient to lower older adults’ risk and fear of falling. Participants had to be 65 years or older and community dwelling. Participants were not excluded for using an assistive device, sex, ethnicity, or religion. Individuals involved in Otterbein University’s Lifelong Learners Community were targeted for this study. Researchers utilized the Tinetti and Timed Up and Go (TUG) tests to assess participants’ balance and gait abilities. The Falls Self-Efficacy Scale – International (FES-I) was also used to assess participants’ fear of falling while completing everyday activities. The exercise program was meant to be completed three days a week for eight weeks. The exercises were broken into two-week intervals. Participants received a checklist of the exercises that they were meant to complete and videos explaining the exercises every two weeks of the program. The TUG test showed statistical significance between pre and post testing, indicating that the exercise program did decrease participants’ risk of falling, F(1)= 6.12, p= 0.048; however, there was not statistical significance shown with the Tinetti, F(1)= 1.17, p=0.321, and FES-I, F(1)= 0.67, p= 0.44, tests. Future research is needed to assess the most effective exercise program length and motivational factors.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use

Acknowledgement 1


Acknowledgement 2


Available for download on Friday, October 25, 2024