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Performance- Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA),
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Balance (Chair):

Instructions: Place a hard armless chair against a wall. The following maneuvers are tested.  

1. Sitting down

2. Sitting balance

3. Arising

4. Immediate standing balance (first 5 seconds)

5. (Stand) side-by-side standing balance

6. Pull test (person at maximum position attained in #5, examiner stands behind and exerts mild pull back at waist)

7. Able to stand on right leg unsupported

8. Able to stand on left leg unsupported

9. Semitandem stand

10. Tandem stand

11. Bending over (to pick up a pen off floor)

12. Toe stand

13. Heel stand

Gait: Instructions: Person stands with examiner, walks down 30-ft walkway (measured). Ask the person to walk down walkway, turn, and walk back. The person should use customary walking aid.
14. Initiation of gait (immediately after told to “go”)

15. Path (estimated in relation to tape measure). Observe excursion of foot closest to tape measure over middle 8 feet of course.

16. Missed step (trip or loss of balance)

17. Turning (while walking)

18. Step over obstacles (to be assessed in a separate walk with two shoes placed on course 4 feet apart)


The low common variance found between ankle ROM (Range of Motion)  measurements and the Performance- Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA) balance subtest scores indicates to us that ankle ROM may be relatively less important in these activities. During the maneuvers of the POMA balance subtest, including sitting, standing, and standing with eyes closed, other factors may be more critical in influencing balance, but our study was correlational and interventions were outside the scope of this study.



We found that a relationship exists between ankle ROM and performance on balance tests in community-dwelling elderly women with no health problems. Ankle exercises directed at increasing ankle ROM may increase the effectiveness of clinical and community interventions designed for improving balance and reducing falls in elderly women. Our results can provide information to those developing interventions and investigating treatment efficacy because they suggest that interventions for increasing ankle ROM may have an influence on reducing falls in this population.

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