Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Katie Farrell, MS, PT, NCS


Background and purpose. Numerous researchers have investigated balance ability and the training of balance in the elderly. However, research in this area is-lacking evidence regarding whether training balance with one's eyes closed is more efficient than training with eyes open. The purpose of this study was to determine if a significant difference exists between the balance abilities of elderly subjects who practiced balance activities with their eyes open and subjects who trained with their eyes closed. Methods. Sixteen subjects age 65 years and older were assessed for pre- and post-training balance ability using the Fast Evaluation of Mobility, Balance and Fear (FEMBAF). The training consisted of half-hour sessions, three times a week for four weeks. During each session subjects performed a circuit of 5 balance activities. Some of the subjects (n=6) performed the exercises with their eyes open while the other subjects (n=10) performed the exercises with their eyes closed. Results. There was no significant difference (p