Plymouth State Balance Study

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Comparison of quantitative foot pressure mapping and current clinical based measures as predictors of falls in older adults

Falls occur daily in the elderly population that can affect the person's health. The purpose of the study was to determine if there was a relationship predicting falls risk between the quantitative MatScan® and two commonly used qualitative clinical assessments, the Timed Up and Go and the Berg Balance Scale. Under the direction of Dr. Marjorie King, Nicholas Allard, Carly Burrows, Garrett Loomer, Samantha Sheehan, and Stephanie Grajek have recruited, tested, and analyzed data of over 100 test subjects. This fall the team will continue to recruit, test, and collect data. 

Recruitment

We quickly learned that recruitment of the subjects was the most critical stage of the study. There were several times that we fine tuned our recruitment strategy to avoid problems that could be created otherwise. It was crucial that we contacted directors of the centers first and made sure that they had a strong comprehension of what is was going to take to get subjects to test. At the same time it was important to inform the subject of exactly what we were asking. 

Research Meetings

Communication between the students and professors is essential to the success of the study. To ensure that everyone is on the same page we met at least once a week. We go over where we have been recruiting and how to proceed. These meetings are very helpful to stay organized and plan for the road ahead. 

Testing

Testing takes place all over New Hampshire. We want to make sure that we get a good cross section of different regions of New Hampshire. Also we have learned that it would not be possible to get 100 participants in the area that met all our qualifications. Testing sites included: Plymouth, Meredith, Salem, North Conway, Hanover, New Hampton and others.