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Gait Posture. 2014;40(1):123-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

The association between fear of falling and gait variability in both leg and trunk movements.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health Sciences, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe, Japan. Electronic address: ry-sawa@stu.kobe-u.ac.jp.
2
Section for Health Promotion Department for Research and Development to Support Independent Life of Elderly, Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan; Research Institute, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan.
3
Kobe City Hospital Organization, Kobe City Medical Center West Hospital, Kobe, Japan.
4
Section for Health Promotion Department for Research and Development to Support Independent Life of Elderly, Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan; Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe, Japan.
5
Department of Community Health Sciences, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe, Japan; Section for Health Promotion Department for Research and Development to Support Independent Life of Elderly, Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan.
6
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Kobegakuin University, Kobe, Japan.
7
Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
8
Department of Community Health Sciences, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe, Japan.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore whether FoF was associated with variability in both leg and trunk movements during gait in community-dwelling elderly. Ninety-three elderly people participated in this study. Each participant was categorized into either Fear or No-Fear group on the basis of having FoF. The participants walked 15m at their preferred speed. The wireless motion recording sensor units were attached to L3 spinous process and right posterior surface of heel during gait. Gait velocity, stride time and stride length were calculated. Variability in lower limb movements was represented by coefficient of variation (CV) of stride time. Trunk variability was represented by autocorrelation coefficients (AC) in three directions (vertical: VT, mediolateral: ML and anteroposterior: AP), respectively. Gait parameters were compared between groups, and further analyses were performed using generalized linear regression models after adjustment of age, sex, fall experience, height, weight, and gait velocity. Although gait velocity, mean stride time and stride length did not differ significantly between groups, stride time CV and all ACs were significantly worse in the Fear group after adjustment for variables, even including gait velocity (stride time CV: p=0.003, β=-0.793; AC-VT: p=0.011, β=0.053; AC-ML: p=0.044, β=0.075; AC-AP: p=0.002, β=0.078). Our results suggest that fear of falling is associated with variability in both leg and trunk movements during gait in community-dwelling elderly. Further studies are needed to prove a causal relationship.

KEYWORDS:

Elderly; Fear of falling; Gait

PMID:
24656714
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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