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The influence of social anxiety on posture and balance tasks

Grant number: 14/16503-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2014
Effective date (End): February 28, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi
Grantee:Diego Orcioli da Silva
Supervisor: Mark Gregory Carpenter
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (UBC), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:13/27032-0 - Complexity of the environment and asymmetry on the gait in elderly with Parkinson's disease, BP.MS


Fear of falling is a disabling phenomenon common among patients with postural instability and gait disturbances (such as patients with Parkinson's disease), and also in elderly people who have previously fallen. Recent evidence in postural studies has found an increase in postural instability with increase in perceived anxiety in subjects (Carpenter et al., 2006). The purpose of the project is to examine the influence of social anxiety on balance and gait tasks in the elderly and how these changes may be moderated by social support of a spouse or friend. Each subject will be required to complete the balance tasks under three conditions ("evaluator present without support", "evaluator present with support" and "no evaluator present"). Subjects will perform series of static and dynamic posture and gait tasks. Following completion of the balance tasks in each condition, all subjects will be asked to complete two sets of questionnaires regarding state anxiety and fear during the time when the balance tasks are carried out. Once the questionnaires are completed, subjects will have a 10 minute period of seated rest before commencement of the next balance condition. All subjects will be fitted with a trunk sway measurement device (SwayStar, Switzerland) attached to a converted motorcycle kidney belt. Ground reaction force and moment of force signals will be collected from the force plate to allow calculation of center of pressure (COP). Dependent measures such as the range of trunk displacement and trunk velocity in the pitch and roll directions for each balance task will be analyzed using a between and within-subject analysis of variance design. (AU)

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