Balance & Falls Special Interest Group

B&F SIG Leadership



Provide opportunities for the growth of knowledge and quality of practice for physical therapists in relation to older persons with balance deficits and an increased risk for falling.

These include:

  • Programs at CSM
  • Articles in Gerinotes or other publications
  • Initiating discussions on Listserve.
  • Journal Club
  • Newsletters to Members
There are many opportunities for participation, so please consider getting involved! To participate or learn more about current SIG activities and projects, contact the SIG chair.

Balance and Falls SIG News

posted: January 31, 2019

Dear Balance and Fall SIG Members;


I hope that those who were at CSM last week had a safe journey home. For those who were unable to join us, I hope that the minutes below will provide you with insights about our great projects as well as plans.


This was my last Balance and Falls SIG meeting and I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for all that you have done and do. When I started as Balance and Falls SIG chair I had many visions and as most things go, each component of the vision took much longer than expected. However, I have provided the incoming chair with a large amount of information about where the SIG has started, how it has grown, and what possible opportunities there are. Jennifer Vincenzo is a great leader who is very knowledgeable in public health as well as fall prevention and will be an amazing Chair of this SIG.


Here are the minutes from our SIG meeting at CSM.


  1. Introduction of incoming officers/liaisons:
    1. Chair: Jennifer Vincenzo, PT, MPH, PhD
    2. Vice Chair: Shweta Subramani, PT, MHS
    3. Secretary/Treasurer: Heidi Moyer, PT, DPT
    4. Nominating Committee Chair: Anne Reilley, PT, DPT
    5. Research Liaison: Elizabeth Wang-Hsu, PT, PhD
    6. Clinical Liaisons: Haim Nesser, PT, DPT, CEEAA
    7. Public Liaison: Angela Onyekanne, PT, DPT
    8. PTA Liaison: Brenda Holman, PTA
  2. Guest Presenter: David Taylor, an active member of the AGPT and Balance and Falls SIG, has been working with the CDC on multiple projects. This includes:
    1. Improving and implementing the STEADI
    2. Increasing clinical community partnerships: PT’s need to get out of our clinics and into the communities
    3. The addition of a 4th component on the STEADI: outcomes- PTs will have a role in this, however, the details have not been specified.
    4. My Mobility Plan:
      1. If you have not seen it, please check it out:
      2. Rational: trying to promote a healthy aging perspective through positive changes
  3. AGPT Strategic Plan – where does the Balance and Falls SIG fit in
    1. Assisting with the NCOA partnership: the AGPT created a NCOA task force which just met for the first time at CSM. Our chair and a couple of members are actively involved in the process and will share any updates that arise.
    2. CEU’s
      1. Just like the Health Promotion and Wellness SIG, our SIG will be putting together at least 2 webinars
      2. Current topic ideas are:
        1. Aging in place
        2. Falls prevention in long term care
        3. If you have any other ideas please e-mail [email protected]
        4. There is also a discussion about putting together a webinar that would have representatives from the AGPT and CDC.
  4. Update on current projects
    1. Journal Club has grown significantly over the last three years and continues to grow. There is current discussion about possible changes to the journal club, including the possibility of adding CEU’s and recording it. However, the details about these changes have not been discussed and for now Mariana Wingood (the outgoing chair) will continue facilitating/organizing the Journal Club.
    2. National Falls Prevention Awareness Day (NFPAD) Toolbox taskforce is currently working on putting together a toolbox that will improve the ease of your NFPAD events. It will include ideas for events, material for marketing (State Advocates, promotional of involving other disciplines, advertisements, consent for, photo releases), materials for community presentations, materials for healthcare professional presentations, etc. It is in its final stages and we hope to roll this out in the next few months. When we roll it out we hope to have conference call to inform you off the material included, where to find it, and how to use it.
    3. Inter-SIG Efforts
      1. Working with Neurology and Oncology’s Balance and Falls SIG Chairs- calling it the Tri-Alliance. Hoping to present at CSM2020.
      2. Working with the Foot and Ankle SIG of the Orthopaedic Academy to discuss the relationship between Falls and Foot/Ankle impairments. Hoping to present on this at CSM 2020.
    4. Monthly Challenge
      1. Was started in 2017 and it is only sent out to the members who agreed to get the e-mail. One reason for this is that we don’t want to overwhelm everyone’s inbox. If you want to receive e-mails please send an e-mail to the [email protected].
      2. The monthly challenge is sent out at the beginning of the month and at times there are some great discussions. These occur when people hit reply all and it is highly promoted to hit reply all and promote discussion.
      3. To learn more go to our website or use the direct link for the Monthly Challenge:
    5. Outcome Projects
      1. The project started in 2017 and it is currently in its final stages.
      2. This project sounds similar to the EDGE taskforce; however, it is not as thorough as the EDGE. Its main purpose is to disseminate information at a faster rate with the inclusion of other patient populations/settings.
      3. The goal is to provide quick and easy resources for clinicians that are updated on a regular basis.
      4. The project had 4 phases:
        1. Phase 1: Performed a thorough literature search and completed a list of published outcome measures related to balance and falls.
        2. Phase 2: Review process, broken down into 5 rounds to review all outcome measures
        3. Phase 3: cross-validate and make recommendations
        4. Phase 4: create web medium that is accessible to members to utilize, will be updated by clinical liaison, research liaison, and a team of dedicated volunteers
  5. Resources: Provided updates about some great resources available including- State Advocates (every state, with the exception of Alaska, Missouri, and South Dakota has one or two), NCOA, CDC, State Coalitions, and don’t forget about your Community Partners.
  6. Projects/ideas that were not discussed but are in the works- if interested in assisting with any of these components please e-mail: [email protected]
    1. Putting together a working document where individuals will be able to find as well as add any piece of technology or assistive device that is helping their patient with fall prevention and/or that are used in clinic.
    2. Putting together a document that summarizes the current level of evidence for Interventions.
    3. Facebook Live or Twitter Event where the SIG introduces individuals to what is available on our website. Plan on working with the AGPT to also provide videos on how to join a SIG.
    4. Networking opportunities
      1. Putting together a directory. This would be a working document where individuals who want to network could put their contact information. It will include a section for researchers, educators, and clinicians who are interested in various fall-prevention related work.
      2. Putting together a networking/social event at CSM next year. The Academy of Orthopaedic SIGs have a member meeting and a social event and since many individuals want to socialize/network at the Balance and Falls SIG meeting, but we never have time we may try to put together an additional social event for this purpose.


Thank you all.

Mariana Wingood

Out-going Balance and Falls SIG Chair


posted: January 02, 2019

Dear Balance and Falls SIG Members;

I hope you had a great New Year's and you are as excited about 2019 as I am. The Balance and Falls SIG is going through some major changes in leadership and I am excited to announce the new Officers and Liaisons that will represent the SIG starting after CSM 2019.

Your Officers and Liaisons for the year 2019 are:

Chair: Jennifer Vincenzo

Vice-Chair: Shweta Prashanth

Secretary: Heidi Moyer

Nominating committee: Annie Reilley

Clinical Liaison: Haim Nesser

Research Liaison: Elizabeth Wang-Hsu

Public Liaison: Angela Onyekanne

PTA Liaison: Brenda Holman


They all have great visions and I can’t wait to see what they do with the SIG.


This will include completing the following Projects:


NFPAD Toolkit: We have started a project of putting together a toolkit for National Fall Prevention Awareness Day. This will include start-up, marketing, and educational material. Once completed it will be available for all members. 

Outcome Measure Resource Toolkit: Is in its last stage and will hopefully be wrapped up by CSM.

Monthly Challenge: Haim Nesser has taken over the monthly challenge and has some great visions for 2019’s monthly challenge. It is never to late to join this great group of clinicians who share some of the newest evidence and information. For more information please e-mail Haim at [email protected]

Inter-SIG Journal Club: The Journal Club is still growing and currently we are exploring the possibility of moving it to a Academy (instead of Balance and Falls SIG) sponsored event. Please stay tuned for more information.

CEUs: Currently we are putting together a CEU course that would be provided in the form of a Webinar. Please stay tuned for more information.

Technology Resource: We are currently updating our technology resource list. If you have any interest in Balance and Falls Technology and would like to be involved with this project please e-mail our incoming Chair Jennifer Vincenzo  at [email protected]

Inter-academy collaboration: Currently working together with the Oncology Balance and Falls SIG and the Neuro Balance and Falls SIG to put together joined programming for next years CSM.



Journal Club:

Date: Monday, January 14th from 8:00- 9:00 PM Eastern Time

Article Discussed: Program-Level Factors Influencing Positive Graduate Outcomes of Physical Therapy Residency Programs

Authors: Gregory W. Hartley, Kathryn E. Roach, Kendra L. Harrington, Stephanie McNally

Meeting at CSM:

Date: Saturday, January 23rd from 10:00- 11AM Eastern Time

Location: Marriott Marquis- Gallery Place



Article 1:

Reference: Arkkukangas M, Söderlund A, Eriksson S, Johansson AC. Fall preventive exercise with or without behavior change support for community-dwelling older adults: A randomized controlled trial with short-term follow-up. Journal of geriatric physical therapy. 2019 Jan 1;42(1):9-17.

Results: No benefits of an exercise program with or without Motivational Interviewing (MI) regarding physical performance, fall self-efficacy, activity level, handgrip strength, adherence to the exercise, and fall frequency in comparison to a control group. However, some small effects occurred within the Otago Exercise Program and MI group, indicating that there may be some possible value in behavioral change support combined with exercise in older adults that requires further evaluation in both short- and long-term studies.


Article 2:

Reference: Pang I, Okubo Y, Sturnieks D, Lord SR, Brodie MA. Detection of near falls using wearable devices: a systematic review. Journal of geriatric physical therapy. 2019 Jan 1;42(1):48-56.

Results: The use of a single lightweight sensor to distinguish between different types of near falls, actual falls, and activities of daily living is a promising low-cost technology and clinical tool for long-term continuous monitoring of older people and clinical populations at risk of falls. However, currently the evidence is limited because studies have largely involved simulated laboratory events in young adults.


I hope you can join us at CSM and if you would like to become involved with the SIG or have any questions/comments please reach out to the Balance and Falls SIG chair Jennifer Vincenzo.

Jennifer Vincenzo will be sending out an introductory e-mail shortly after this newsletter. She is a great leader as well as role model and I am excited to see what she does with the SIG over the next three years.

It has been a pleasure and honor to serve as your Chair.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to our profession.

Have a great year!


Mariana Wingood

Balance and Falls SIG Chair


Balance and Falls SIG Member Resources

Journal Club:

    Occurs on a bi-monthly basis- the last Tuesday of the Month at 8pm eastern time.

    Click here for past Journal Clubs.

Research Resources:

The Monthly Challenge

Every month, we send out an email to interested members with a quick summary of an aspect of balance and falls management. This email thread allows members to have topic specific communication as well as share experiences/ideas. We will also be posting the materials to our google drive which you can access at any time. Emails are sent out at the beginning of each month. If you wish to join the email chain and get the information before anyone else, email us at [email protected] .


National Fall Prevention Awareness Day Resources

Links of Interest:

Resources for your ToolBox:


We can help the way your association works. click here. Website Design and Management by: