Balance Rehabilitation: Translating Research into Clinical Practice, taught by Marjorie Woollacott, PhD & Anne Shumway-Cook, PT, PhD

Alcala, Spain, October 2-4th:
Location: Physiotherapy Faculty at Alcala Campus University, Alcala, Spain
E-mail the organizer, Soraya Pacheco de Costa, for details:


The overall goal of this course is to discuss new concepts in the assessment and treatment of balance impairments leading to loss of functional independence and falls in both neurologic and geriatric populations. The course will review research related to the physiological basis for normal and impaired balance, and consider the application of this research in the assessment and treatment of balance disorders. The course will include three assessment labs where participants can explore tests related to the measurement of balance and mobility functions. Case studies and small group discussions will focus on the development of evidence based treatment strategies to improve balance and prevent falls.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: At the completion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the control of balance within a dynamic systems model, and within the International Classification of Function, Health and Disability.
  2. Describe sensory, motor and cognitive contributions to normal and impaired balance in older adults and those with neurologic pathology.
  3. Discuss the rationale for selecting tests used to measure balance.
  4. Learn to administer sensory, motor and cognitive measures of balance, and discuss their psychometric properties.
  5. Develop an appropriate progression of exercises for persons with impaired balance.
  6. Based on a review of the research evidence, discuss current best practices related to balance training in both geriatric and neurologic populations.


Marjorie Woollacott, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Human Physiology and a member of the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. She is well known for her research on balance control and rehabilitation in both neurologic populations, including children with cerebral palsy (CP), and geriatrics, and has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health to study balance rehabilitation in these individuals. She has published extensively, and is coauthor of the book Motor Control: Translating Research into Clinical Practice. Her current research focuses on methods to improve sitting balance in children with CP and to improve balance and reduce falls when neurologic patients and older adults are in complex environments, and focusing on more than one task.

Anne Shumway-Cook, PT, PhD, FAPTA is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Her research focuses on understanding the physiologic basis for balance and mobility disorders in neurologic and geriatric populations, and the translation of this research into best practices related to assessment and treatment of balance disorders. She has published extensively, and is coauthor of the book Motor Control: Translating Research into Clinical Practice. Her clinical practice focused on treatment of adults with balance and mobility impairments; she has helped to develop a number of hospital and community evidence-based fall prevention programs.