Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
Session and Year of Graduation
Laura Frey Law
Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) has become more prevalent in the United States population. Complications due to DM include chronic hyperglycemia if the disease is not managed appropriately and can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Diminished sensation, proprioception, and kinesthesia are all resultants of peripheral neuropathy that can cause persons to feel off balanced and at an increased risk of falls. Evaluation of balance and gait are important areas for Physical Therapists to look at to appropriately determine patient deficits due to peripheral neuropathy. Purpose: This case study looks at three useful outcome measures that can help to establish a baseline and monitor improvements in this patient population over time. Outcomes: The three outcome measures used include the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), and the Activities- specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC Scale) to measure improvement in physical therapy interventions in an elderly man with peripheral neuropathy over 6 visits. Upon discharge the patient had improved on all outcome measures, self-reported a decrease in fear of falling, and improved awareness of his deficits. Discussion: Physical Therapists can help patients with patients with peripheral neuropathy to teach compensations, improve strength and range of motion, and educate patients on the effects of decreased sensation and their risk of increased falls. The use of outcome measures to track improvement can be useful in developing meaningful treatments to improve a patient’s quality of life and help achieve their goals.
Neurologic - General
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