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Physiother Can. 2008 Winter;60(1):10-8. doi: 10.3138/physio/60/1/10. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Predictors of gait speed in patients after hip fracture.

Author information

1
Kathleen Kline Mangione, PT, PhD: Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Arcadia University, Glenside, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Following hip fracture, patients demonstrate greatly reduced walking speeds 1 year later compared with age-matched elders. The purpose of our study was to examine the factors that relate to gait speed in patients after hip fracture.

METHODS:

Forty-two men and women (mean age 79 +/- 7.5 years) who sustained a hip fracture participated in this study. Linear regression analysis was used to determine a statistical model that best predicted gait speed, the dependent variable. Gait speed was measured with a computerized gait mat. The independent variables were age, sex, height, weight, time post-fracture, medications, mental status, depression, balance confidence, Medical Outcome Studies, Short Form (SF-36), balance, and lower extremity isometric force. All subjects were discharged from physical therapy services, and measurements were taken, on average, 17 weeks post-fracture.

RESULTS:

Using stepwise regression, 72% of the variance in gait speed was explained by summed lower extremity strength normalized by body weight, general health (SF-36), and balance confidence (Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale).

CONCLUSIONS:

Impairments (summed lower extremity strength) and risk factors (perception of general health and balance confidence) are important predictors of gait speed in elders after hip fracture.

KEYWORDS:

balance; gait speed; health status; hip fracture; lower extremity strength

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