Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To investigate therapists' application of functional balance tests on Traumatic Brain Injured (TBI) patients in a rehabilitative setting. Also, to find out how and why they modify these tests, and to investigate what areas of functional balance therapists are unable to measure.

Subjects: A selected sample of 366 therapists who practiced in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona.

Methods: The survey was sent via mail to 366 physical therapists working in a neurological rehabilitation setting. The usable surveys returned was 109, yielding a 33% return rate. The data were analyzed using SPSS software and Pearson correlation coefficient, frequencies and Chi-square.

Results: Tinetti POMA and Berg Balance Scale were two of the most common functional balance tests used by the therapists. The majority (80%) of the forty-four therapists who modified the tests, did so from 1 to 50% of the time. Chi-Square analysis revealed significant differences in therapists' satisfaction of applied tests and the amount of literature supporting those tests.

Conclusions: The results may suggest inability to accurately measure cognitive components in relation to functional balance. This may lead to further research of applied tests on TBI patients and/or development of tests designed to measure higher levels (i.e. cognitive) aspects of functional balance.


Physical Therapy

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