The Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina has awarded a grant to the Elon Department of Physical Therapy Education for research on fall prevention in lung cancer patients.
The Elon Department of Physical Therapy Education has been awarded a Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) of North Carolina Access Grant to support a research project focused on fall prevention in lung cancer patients.
The $9,984 grant will go toward a study on the effects of lung cancer treatments on a patient’s balance, strength and endurance. The research will specifically analyze each individual’s future risk of falling based on these physical performance measures and explore whether guided exercise intervention can decrease a patient’s fall risk.
The project is led by Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Education Beth Evans, Professor of Physical Therapy Education Steve Bailey, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Education Srikant Vallabhajosula, and Elon DPTE students. As the team aims to enhance a database of health information for individuals with a history of lung cancer, it hopes to find out how that information can possibly determine whether a patient is at a higher risk of falling.
The study offers each participant virtual guided exercise intervention designed to improve physical function and balance to help reduce the future risk of falling. The research team will study the overall effectiveness of the at-home exercise intervention on each individual’s physical performance. With one in five falls leading to serious injury, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers at Elon hope to use the LCI Access Grant to learn more about fall risk and protect lung cancer survivors in North Carolina and beyond.
“Individuals with histories of pulmonary disease and cancer tend to be at an increased risk of falling,” Evans said. “Such falls can have serious consequences, negatively affecting overall health and quality of life. This Access Grant will enable us to design and implement a novel approach of using interactive and guided fall risk screenings and interventions in a virtual environment, which will increase its accessibility to lung cancer survivors across the state of North Carolina.”
The research at Elon is open to any adult living in North Carolina with a history of lung cancer. To participate in the Department of Physical Therapy Education research study or to learn more about the project, fill out the form here.
The Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina is the state’s leading nonprofit organization supporting lung cancer research and education with the goal of connecting patients, survivors and loved ones with the medical and research community. Launched in 2016, the LCI’s Access Grant program supports local community organizations that aim to increase access to lung cancer screening, treatment, clinical trials, molecular testing or precision medicine for uninsured or underinsured individuals.