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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1992;16(3):123-8.

Physical performance measures that predict faller status in community-dwelling older adults.


Falls are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among the elderly. Accurate determination of risk factors associated with falls in older adults is necessary, not only for individual patient management, but also for the development of fall prevention programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical measures, such as the one-legged stance test (OLST), sit-to-stand test (STST), manual muscle tests (MMT), and response speed in predicting faller status in community-dwelling older adults (N = 94, age 60-89 years). The variables assessed were single-leg standing (as measured by OLST), STST, and MMT of 12 different muscle groups (hip flexors, hip abductors, hip adductors, knee flexors, knee extensors, ankle dorsiflexors, ankle plantarflexors, shoulder flexors, shoulder abductors, elbow flexors, elbow extensors, and finger flexors), and speed of response (as measured by a visual hand reaction and movement time task). Of the 94 older adults assessed, 28 (29.7%) reported at least one fall within the previous year. The discriminant analysis revealed that there were six variables that significantly discriminated between fallers and nonfallers. These variables included MMT of the ankle dorsiflexors, knee flexors, hip abductors, and knee extensors, as well as time on the OLST and the STST. The results indicate that simple clinical measures of musculoskeletal function can discriminate fallers from nonfallers in community-dwelling older adults. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1992;16(3):123-128.

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