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Int J Rehabil Res. 2008 Sep;31(3):261-4. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e3282fba390.

Fear of falling in stroke patients: relationship with previous falls and functional characteristics.

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Department of Geriatrics, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden.


The objectives of this study were to determine the relationship between fear of falling and functional characteristics of patients after stroke as well as to determine what characterizes fallers who score high fall-related self-efficacy, and nonfallers who score low fall-related self-efficacy. Patients (n=140) treated in a stroke unit during a 12-month period were included. On follow-up, fallers were identified and patients answered the questions in the Falls Efficacy Scale, Swedish version (FES-S). Assessments of motor capacity, functional mobility and balance were also made. In univariate analysis, low fall-related self-efficacy was significantly associated with increased age, female sex, earlier falls, visual and cognitive impairment, low mood and impaired physical function. In multivariate analysis, only earlier falls and physical function remained significant. Twenty percent of the patients scored low fall-related self-efficacy without having experienced a fall, and 11% who experienced a fall scored high fall-related self-efficacy. Impaired physical function was significantly associated with scoring low fall-related self-efficacy, for both fallers and nonfallers. Fear of falling is significantly associated with poor physical function and earlier falls. Falls Efficacy Scale, Swedish version could add useful information to a fall risk analysis. Patients scoring low fall-related self-efficacy should be offered fall prevention measures whether they have fallen or not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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