Predicting people with stroke at risk of falls

Ashburn, A., Hyndman, D., Pickering, R., Yardley, L. and Harris, S (2008) Predicting people with stroke at risk of falls. Age and Ageing, 37, (3), 270-276. (doi:10.1093/ageing/afn066).


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Background: falls are common following a stroke, but knowledge about predicting future fallers is lacking.

Objective: to identify, at discharge from hospital, those who are most at risk of repeated falls.

Methods: consecutively hospitalised people with stroke (independently mobile prior to stroke and with intact gross cognitive function) were recruited. Subjects completed a battery of tests (balance, function, mood and attention) within 2 weeks of leaving hospital and at 12 months post hospital discharge.

Results: 122 participants (mean age 70.2 years) were recruited. Fall status at 12 months was available for 115 participants and of those, 63 [55%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 46–64] experienced one or more falls, 48 (42%; 95% CI 33–51) experienced repeated falls, and 62 (54%) experienced near-falls. All variables available at discharge were screened as potential predictors of falling. Six variables emerged [near-falling in hospital, Rivermead leg and trunk score, Rivermead upper limb score, Berg Balance score, mean functional reach, and the Nottingham extended activities of daily living (NEADL) score]. A score of near-falls in hospital and upper limb function was the best predictor with 70% specificity and 60% sensitivity.

Conclusion: participants who were unstable (near-falls) in hospital with poor upper limb function (unable to save themselves) were most at risk of falls.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0002-0729 (print)
Keywords: stroke, falls, prediction, elderly
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SOHPRS)
ePrint ID: 55508
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:38
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