Tim L. Doyle

Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


Falling in the elderly involves high personal and financial costs. Traditional biomechanical assessment of gait and balance using variables such as centre of pressure (COP) is an active area of research that attempts to identify those characteristics associated with fallers. Non-traditional analysis techniques such as the fractaI dimension (FD) arc less well accepted. Therefore, statistical models to discriminate fallers and non-fallers utilising both traditional and non-traditional melhods should be investigated. The overall objectivc of this doctoral investigation, consisting of four studies, was to determine differences between elderly lallers and non-fallers using FD analysis to improve clinical balance and mobility assessments. The reliability of measures derived from a portable force plate was investigated in both young and elderly asymptomatic groups in studies I and 2. In studies 3 and 4 fallers were compared against non-fallers across a combination of clinical outcome measures, traditional, and FD COP analysis. Further, two statistical models were developed with and without FD variables.