Students Host Free Screenings for National Physical Therapy MonthOctober 23, 2014

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and nearly 50 students in Rockhurst’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program made the most of it by hosting free balance screenings for elderly adults in the community. As part of a professional and leadership development course, these screenings were held at community centers and churches, most recently at the Don Bosco Senior Center and the Saint Therese Little Flower Parish.

From blood pressure tests to vision checks to balance and walking assessments, screenings are specifically geared toward those at risk of falling. Physical therapy students conduct the screenings and survey participants about their home on characteristics related to fall risk.

“They use this information to develop evidence-based educational handouts related to fall statistics, risks and strategies to avoid falling,” said Catherine Thompson, PT, Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy who helps lead screening efforts.

Physical therapy faculty and clinicians from throughout the Kansas city community supervise the PT students.

“This is a good example of preventive care,” said Thompson. “Physical therapists are movement experts, and are there to help people improve mobility and motions needed for daily life.”

Additional free screenings will be offered in Spring 2015. To learn more, contact Thompson at 

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