Award Date

Spring 5-14-2021

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Jennifer Nash

First Committee Member

Daniel Young, Ph.D

Second Committee Member

Merrill Landers, Ph.D

Number of Pages



Background: Falls are a major problem in the United States among the older adult population and provide opportunity for community outreach via student-led physical therapy projects. Objective: The purpose of this project was to investigate the relationship between fall related outcome measures and questionnaires with the completion of the Stepping On Fall Prevention program along with evaluating the benefits of Physical Therapy student development with participation in service learning projects. Methods: The research quantified the fall risk of 13 participants with assessment of: gait speed (Timed Up and Go), lower extremity strength (30-Second Chair Stand), balance (4-Stage Balance Test), and psychological factors (Stay Independent Questionnaire, Falls Efficacy Scale-International, and Geriatric Depression Scale). Results: Of the functional measures, significant improvements were observed in the Timed up and Go (TUG) (∆1.72s ± 1.66, p=0.003), the 30-second chair stand (∆4.54 ± 4.27, p= 0.002), Stage 4 of the 4-Stage Balance Test (∆3.37s ± 3.26, p= 0.003), and the Stay Independent questionnaire (∆1.77 ± 2.52, p=0.026). Conclusion: Stepping On demonstrated improvements in gait speed, strength, and balance. These improvements allow older adults to improve their overall safety in both their own homes and the community. More research is needed to evaluate the psychological benefits of completing Stepping On. Furthermore, service learning project opportunities should become more of a standard practice across physical therapy programs.


Fall prevention; Older adult; Service learning


Physical Therapy

File Format


File Size

383 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas