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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Feb;83(2):165-70.

Fall events among people with stroke living in the community: circumstances of falls and characteristics of fallers.

Author information

1
Rehabilitation Research Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, England. dorit_@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the frequency and circumstances of falls among a community sample of people with stroke and to compare characteristics of fallers and nonfallers.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional, observational study.

SETTING:

Community.

PARTICIPANTS:

Forty-one community-dwelling people with stroke (26 men, 15 women; mean age, 69.7 +/- 11.6y), of which 23 had right-hemisphere infarction, 16 left-hemisphere infarction, and 2 had a brainstem lesion. Time since onset of stroke ranged from 3 to 288 months (mean, 50mo).

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Standardized tests were used to measure mobility, upper limb function, activities of daily living (ADL ability), and mood. Information about fall events was collected by using a questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Twenty-one participants (50%) were classed as fallers, of whom 10 had fallen repeatedly. No significant differences were found between fallers and nonfallers on any of the measures used. However, those who had 2 or more falls (n = 10) had significantly reduced arm function (P = .018) and ADL ability (P = .010), compared with those who had not fallen or experienced near falls (n = 5). Loss of balance, misjudgment, and foot dragging during walking, turning, and sit to stand were reported by fallers as the suspected causes and activities leading to falls.

CONCLUSIONS:

The high risk of falling among people with stroke was evident in this community-based sample. Repeat fallers had greater mobility deficits and significantly reduced arm function and ADL ability than those who did not report any instability.

PMID:
11833018
DOI:
10.1053/apmr.2002.28030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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