It’s all fun and games… until someone falls

Today I had the fantastic opportunity of sharing my Executive Function Fall Risk Screener with some amazing therapists at ASHA 2016! It was a wonderful experience because it seems like more and more speech therapists are realizing the role cognition plays in evaluating fall risk. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of research has been done to demonstrate which cognitive domains are most predictive of fall risk and how scores on traditional Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy assessments correlate with cognitive risk. That being said, I’ve developed the Improvised Therapist’s ideal fall risk screener: it involves a deck of cards and a one page score sheet.

The premise is simple. Each task loads on the previous one, thereby providing the patient multiple opportunities to demonstrate cognitive flexibility and fluency, working memory, planning, organization, sequencing and judgment. Click here for the full literature review behind the screener and here for the directions and translation of the findings into real-world functional activities.

Published by Rachel Kammeyer, MA, CCC-SLP

An SLP with a passion for evidence-based fun!

4 thoughts on “It’s all fun and games… until someone falls

  1. I need some clarification on the sequencing task: piles of kings, queens, jack, etc in descending order or further divided by suit. For example, hearts in descending order, clubs in descending order? Interesting approach. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the great question!
      Yes, each face card/numbered card in descending order Ace to 2 or King to Ace. They should not be sorted by suit, which would be counted as interference of previous set. The participant sometimes asks if suit matters, and I usually say we want them in order. I try not to overtly state “don’t sort by suit”; bridge players often find this frustrating, so I tell them these are brand new rules for a game I invented.

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