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Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Health and Human Development

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Buddhadev, Harsh H. (Harsh Harish)

Second Advisor

Chalmers, Gordon R.

Third Advisor

Bennett, Steve (Professor)


The effects of long COVID 19 on balance and fall risk in older adults are unknown. This study assessed balance confidence and fear of falling in older adults (≥ 60 years) with long COVID (long-haulers, n = 30) compared to older adults who experienced COVID but not long COVID (non-long-haulers, n = 60) and older controls who never had COVID (n = 52). Participants completed the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale and the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). Mean total ABC Scale scores indicated lesser balance confidence in older long-haulers compared to non-long-haulers (p < .001) and controls (p = .011); mean total FES-I scores indicated greater fear of falling in older long-haulers compared to non-long-haulers (p < .001 ) and controls (p = .027). Compared to established cut-off guidelines, these results indicate that older long-haulers may be at greater risk of falling compared to older non-long-haulers and controls.




long COVID, post acute COVID syndrome, long-haul COVID, balance, balance confidence, fall risk, older adults


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

COVID-19 (Disease)--Complications; Equilibrium (Physiology); Older people--Physiology; Falls (Accidents)




masters theses




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