Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2019

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor(s)

Gina Fox


Abstract Objective: The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between an individual with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) perceptions of why falls happen and if receiving fall prevention education is beneficial to reducing falls. Methods: An anonymous survey was developed by the researcher in order to learn more about individuals’ personal experiences relating to falls, fear of falling, and fall prevention education. Surveys were used to identify if participants have ever experienced a fall and subsequently examine the relationships between falls and fall education. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to supplement survey results and gain greater insight into the experiences of an individual with PD. Survey and interview responses were both analyzed for common trends. Results: Participants reported receiving fall prevention education after experiencing a fall and not when first diagnosed with PD. All participants who received education about falls perceived the information to be beneficial. In addition, participants reported a fear of falling, but it did not prevent individuals from leaving their home to attend their exercise group, suggesting that this group provides individuals with PD motivation, peer support, and the opportunity to improve their PD symptoms. Conclusion: Fall prevention education should be provided earlier to individuals with PD and this education should be ongoing throughout their disease progression. Occupational therapists are well suited to run a fall prevention education class, which could potentially prevent future hospitalizations due to falls by educating clients on how to manage their PD in their everyday routines.


OT 494F and SCAD