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Balance Retraining: Assessment of Sensory Systems

presented by Laurie Swan

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Balance impairments in the elderly population are common, and therapists are key members of the health care team that have the critical skills for accurate assessment of systems that contribute to balance. This course reviews the systems that contribute to maintenance of balance, with a focus on assessment of the somatosensory, visual, and vestibular systems, as well as the integration of these three sensory systems in the central nervous system.

Meet Your Instructor

Laurie Swan, PhD, DPT, PT, CEEAA

Laurie Swan, PhD, DPT, PT, CEEAA, is recognized nationally for providing high quality continuing education courses that focus on vestibular rehabilitation, balance training, and fall prevention in the elderly. Laurie received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Puget Sound, as well as a PhD in Applied Experimental Psychology from Central Michigan…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Assessment of Primary Sensory Systems: Part A

This chapter introduces “balance” as a construct that includes a number of characteristics and attributes. The participant will learn two assessments that identify whether the patient has somatosensation that can be used to maintain balance.

2. Assessment of Primary Sensory Systems: Part B

Dr. Swan introduces focal and ambient vision, how each of these visual systems contributes to balance, and how to assess them. The participant will learn how the vestibular system contributes to balance. Dr. Swan demonstrates how to conduct a bedside oculomotor exam.

3. Assessment of Sensory Weighting

The participant is introduced to sensory weighting. Dr. Swan demonstrates how to perform the Clinical Test for Sensory Interaction on Balance (also known as “Foam and Dome”). She describes the role of the somatosensory, visual, and vestibular systems in each one of the six conditions.

More Courses in this Series

Balance Retraining: Creating Effective Interventions through Sensory Weighting

Presented by Laurie Swan, PhD, DPT, PT, CEEAA

Balance Retraining: Creating Effective Interventions through Sensory Weighting

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Elderly patients often present with impaired integration and use of somatosensory, visual, and vestibular information, even when these systems are providing normal input to the central nervous system. This course introduces the concept of sensory weighting during real-world, functional activities with analysis of how people use somatosensory and visual information to keep their balance during everyday tasks. Common abnormal patterns of sensory weighting are described. Several treatment interventions that target retraining of the appropriate balance system in a given environmental context are described for each of the abnormal patterns. Case studies are used to illustrate examples of each of the common abnormal patterns of sensory weighting.

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