Tunnicliffe, Elizabeth (2021) Alexander Technique: an exploration of overcoming fear of falling in people aged 60 and over. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis comprises a mixed-methods study aimed at exploring whether an Alexander Technique intervention would enable participants aged 60 years and over to improve their balance and movement, thereby increasing balance confidence and reducing fear of falling. Frequency of delivery was explored for effect on the outcomes, experience and learning of the participants. Participants’ feedback on Alexander Technique learning and the intervention encompassed: group learning; course content; and views on the usefulness of Alexander Technique in daily life.
Two groups of participants were recruited from Extra Care sheltered housing schemes (once-a- week intervention, n=13; twice-a-week intervention, n=16). Quantitative assessments of balance confidence (practical assessment) and fear of falling (operationalised as falls-related self-efficacy, self-report) were carried out twice before the intervention (control period); immediately post-intervention; and at four-weeks post-intervention. Qualitative data was obtained by focus groups and individual interviews. The intervention comprised eight sessions of Alexander Technique instruction provided by qualified Alexander teachers, delivered using explanation, demonstration and observation only.
Quantitative data (n=17) indicated an increase in balance confidence (significance inconclusive) and no change in fear of falling. Qualitative data provided evidence of increased activity levels commensurate with increased balance confidence. Fear of falling continued to be expressed, however, its effects appeared to be reduced, with implications for quality of life.
This research demonstrated that older adults were willing to embrace and apply Alexander Technique, perceived as relevant to their daily lives and continuing independence. Application of learning within and outside the course sessions enabled participants to bring about improvements in balance and movement to meet their individual needs. Group learning was enjoyed and confirmed as successful for this age group.
The study demonstrated that Alexander Technique is an appropriate intervention for older adults with fear of falling. Participants also recommended Alexander Technique learning for adults at a younger age.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: This electronic version of the thesis has been edited solely to ensure compliance with copyright legislation and excluded material is referenced in the text. The full, final, examined and awarded version of the thesis is available for consultation in hard copy via the University Library.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alexander Technique, fear of falling, balance confidence, older adults, older people, mixed-methods; pilot study
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Contributors: Read, S (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2021 12:51
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2021 12:59
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/9305

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