Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies, Biophysical Studies



Major Advisor

Terry-Ann Gibson, Ph.D.


INTRODUCTION: There is currently no specific instrument or test to diagnose fall risks in older adults. A functional obstacle designed and based on current research and the components of falls has the potential to be an effective method of diagnosing fall risks in older adults. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the construct validity and reliability of the Modified Functional Obstacle Course (MFOC) and to examine the instrument’s intra-obstacle measurement parameters. METHODS: Participants (N = 63) performed a single series of three common fall risk assessments: Activity Specific Balance Confidence Scale; Dynamic Gait Index and the Tinetti Balance Test (ABC, DGI, & TBT); and, the new Modified Functional Obstacle Course (MFOC). The order of tests, per series, was randomized between participants. Participants (N = 30) from the original sample returned for a single day of testing on the MFOC. DATA ANALYSIS: Construct validity and reliability was determined by measuring correlation (r) to the (ABC, DGI & TBT). Intra-obstacle analysis was performed by using principal component analysis. CONCLUSION: The Modified Functional Obstacle Course demonstrated a moderate to high construct validity, r(63) = .75 - .76, p < .05, in correlation to the convergent measures and it demonstrated high test re-test reliability, r(30) = .99, p < .05 and internal consistency. Principal component analysis demonstrated five distinct components within the MFOC, which accounted for 78% of the variability in scores.