Attentional contributions to postural control are altered in older adults who fear falling

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White, Patricia
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology, c2009
The purpose of this thesis was to compare the contributions of attentional resources relevant to postural control between fall-fearful and non-fearful older adults. Levels of postural challenge and instructions of task prioritization were manipulated to obtain this goal. Results indicated that fall-fearful subjects demonstrated a reorganization of attentional resources when challenge to upright standing was imposed. Additionally, only non-fearful subjects demonstrated flexibility in the prioritization of the cognitive task. However both fall-fearful and non-fearful subjects demonstrated flexibility in the prioritization of the postural task. Findings suggested that fall-fearful older adults reorganize the allocation of attentional resources differently than non-fearful counterparts, potentially placing them at greater risk for falling as their awareness of the external environment and threats to balance may be compromised.
xii, 80 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm
Older people -- Orientation and mobility , Falls (Accidents) in old age , Falls (Accidents) in old age -- Research , Dissertations, Academic