Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

D.P.T.

Program

Physical Therapy

Advisor(s)

Gary Krasilovsky

Mark M. Lusk (Clinical Adviser)

Committee Members

Mark M. Lusk (Clinical Adviser)

Susan Pivko (Faculty Adviser)

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy

Abstract

Purpose: There is a need in the current literature for further information regarding dancer performance on the Y Balance Test (YBT). This study tracked the test scores of a group of dancers to assess change over time and relationship of balance scores to injury risk. It is hoped that clinicians may be able to use the information found in this study to more accurately screen dancers for asymmetries, deficits, and changes over time using the YBT. Such screenings would allow for more effective care and better assessment of readiness to return to dance. Method: A group of 12 dancers between 18 and 23 years of age were recruited as volunteers from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase Conservatory of Dance. All participants signed informed consent forms. Both the Hunter College Human Research Participation Program and the SUNY Purchase Institutional Review Board approved this research. The subjects filled out questionnaires and were assessed using the YBT on two dates, 14 weeks apart. The questionnaires documented years of training, injury history and current injury status. The standardized YBT protocol delineated by Plisky et al. (2009) was used. The researchers hypothesized that the subjects’ scores would remain the same or even improve during the study. Data Analysis: Scores were compiled for each subject’s reach distances, and injury status was recorded. Composite reach scores were subsequently calculated. All reach distances were normalized using subject leg length for comparison between subjects. Reach scores were analyzed for statistical significance using a confidence level of 95% (2x standard error) and an independent t-test analysis (p<0.05) was performed to assess relationship of injury to reach distance. Results: No statistically significant change in reach scores was found for the group as a whole, and no correlation of reach distances with presence of injury was found for the group as a whole. Some individuals did show significant changes, but no pattern was discernible with relation to injury. Discussion/Conclusion: Further research is needed on the performance of dancers on balance tests such as the YBT. It is possible that more sensitive instruments or more dance-specific normative values are needed to truly assess dancers’ balance performance and injury risk.

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