Falls and Mobility Research Laboratory

Current Research Projects

Fall-recovery training for individuals with chronic stroke

The long-term goal of this study is to establish an effective exercise intervention to reduce the rate of falls for individuals with chronic stroke, in turn enabling mobility and a prolonged health span. The purpose of this study is to quantify the specific benefits of fall-recovery training for individuals with chronic stroke. This is the novel application of a recently developed intervention that has benefited other populations at risk of falling, including older adults, individuals with lower limb loss, and individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The proposed study will 1) quantify how fall-recovery training improves the recovery response of individuals with chronic stroke, 2) quantify how fall-recovery training improves balance function, mobility, and balance self-efficacy, and 3) quantify how fall-recovery training alters falls and physical activity in the free-living environment.

Collaborators: Darcy Reisman, PT PhD (University of Delaware)

Development of a comprehensive evaluation of postural control in children with cerebral palsy

The long-term goal of this research is to establish interventions to reduce falls, prevent fall injury, and enable physical activity in children with CP. The overall objective of this application is to develop a comprehensive framework to evaluate how CP alters balance and physical activity. In turn, we will be uniquely positioned to evaluate interventions to reduce falls and enable mobility. We aim to 1) Identify specific deficits in balance associated with CP, 2) Establish the relationships between postural control and physical activity, and 3) Establish the test-retest reliability of balance assessments.

Collaborators: Curtis Johnson, PhD (University of Delaware), Freeman Miller, MD (Nemours AI Dupont), Christopher Modlesky, PhD (University of Georgia)

A study of how counter-rotation movements help maintain balance

The purpose of this study is to validate measures that quantify how counter-rotation movements, such as swinging the arms, help people maintain their balance.

The effects of backward walking training on balance, mobility, strength and fall-recovery in the older adult population

The purpose of this study is to quantify the specific benefits of backward walking (BW) on balance, plantarflexor strength, and fall-recovery capabilities in individuals over the age of 60.

Collaborators: Carol Maritz, PT EdD GCS (University of the Sciences), Karin Silbernagel, PT PhD ATC (University of Delaware)