Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Committee Member

Jenny Kent

Second Committee Member

Daniel Young

Third Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Number of Pages



Background: Fear of falling avoidance behavior (FFAB) is common in parkinsonisms and results in potentially mitigable downstream consequences.

Objective: Determine the characteristics of individuals with parkinsonisms most associated with FFAB.

Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional study was conducted from medical records data of 142 patients with parkinsonisms. These data included: demographics (age, sex), disease characteristics (Movement Disorders Society – Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale Part III (MDS-UPDRS III), years since diagnosis), fall history (number of fall injuries in previous year), and gait and balance function (five times sit to stand, MiniBESTest, Timed Up and Go (TUG), dual-task TUG, ten-meter walk test (10MWT), observed freezing of gait (FOG) (MDS-UPDRS III item 11)).

Results: 10MWT (p < .001) and MDS-UPDRS III item 11 (p < .014) were significantly associated with FFAB above and beyond disease severity, which also contributed significantly to the overall model (ps < .046). Fall history was not associated with FFAB.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the largest portion of variability in FFAB is explained by gait velocity and FOG; however, disease severity also explains a significant portion of the variability of FFAB. Further investigation into factors predictive of FFAB and mitigation of downstream consequences, using more robust designs, is warranted.


Parkinson's disease; Falls (Accidents)--Prevention; Avoidance (Psychology); Gait in humans


Occupational Therapy | Physical Therapy

File Format


File Size

612 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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