Industry News

New Testing Method Offers Physical Therapists A More Efficient Way To Determine Fall Risk In Older Adults

Ocala, FL, June 3, 2011 — GNR Health Systems, Inc. announces the release of the RIPPSÒ Balance Method, a simple toolkit that provides a more affordable and efficient way for physical therapists to determine balance and fall risk in older adults.

RIPPS stands for Repeated Incremental Predictable Perturbations in Standing.

The RIPPS Balance Method was developed by American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member Louis DePasquale, PT, MA, as a means to increase efficiency and accuracy in determining fall risk without having to use expensive equipment or several time-consuming tests.

“My extensive home-based geriatric experience routinely witnessed the inability of current balance tests and fall risk assessment tools to identify existing fall status or fall risk in known and non-faller balance-impaired older adults,” explains DePasquale. “This experience led to the development of the RIPPS Balance Method."

The RIPPS Balance Method provides objective postural response measurements quantified as percent of total body weight. The procedure can be performed by a single therapist and is comprised of repeated rounds of incremental predictable manual waist-pull loading forces while standing. Results are quantified by a linear spring scale strain gauge attached to a padded five-inch belt secured around the client’s waist. The method is performed on a firm unpadded or minimally padded support surface in a normal stance position while wearing normal footwear and without any assistive device.

The RIPPS method is administered in two separate directions, anterior and posterior. Anterior direction limit testing is performed with the examiner facing the client to assess rear stepping limits. Posterior direction limit testing is performed with the client’s back to the examiner to test forward stepping limits. Progressive rounds of coupled loading and unloading of waist-pull forces are delivered to the limits of postural stability or RIPPS end point defined by the RIPPS performance criteria.

Published results conclude that the RIPPS 10% total body weight (TBW) value possesses the highest level of discrimination to fall status when compared to four other balance-related performance measurements. Based upon this evidence, the RIPPS Balance Method is a more efficient balance assessment test, providing the most discriminant fall status guidance for clinical use.

The RIPPS Balance Method toolkit is available for purchase for $159.99 per unit at and includes a zippered storage case, padded universal adjustable waist belt, safety strap, lightweight pocket-sized linear spring scale gauge and instructional DVD.

For more information on the new RIPPS method or to watch a video showing the RIPPS Balance Method in action, visit

Louis DePasquale, PT, MA