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: The purpose of this study was to compare shoulder joint proprioception in geriatric and young adults.

Subjects: A sample of convenience was used. Twenty-nine Nova Southeastern University physical therapy students, 15 males age 24 to 29 and 14 females age 21 to 28, comprised the young adult group. Twenty independent community dwelling elderly, 9 males age 65 to 82 and 11 females 66 to 81, comprised the geriatric group.

Methods: Subjects were tested for the ability to actively reposition the dominant shoulder after passive shoulder flexion of 15°, 45°, and 60°. Subjects were tested on a Biodex Multi-Joint Isokinetic Dynamometer using Biodex software version 4.5.

Results: Geriatric subjects were found to be less accurate than the young adult group at actively repositioning passive shoulder flexion. Statistical significance with alpha set at 0.05 was found at 15° and 45° for the entire geriatric group. Statistical significance was found for geriatric males at 15° and 45°, and significance was found only at 15° for geriatric females.

Conclusions: A decline in shoulder proprioception occurs at 15° and 45° of shoulder flexion but not at 60° over the lifespan. Geriatric males were found to have a more pronounced decline in proprioception than geriatric females.


Physical Therapy

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