Circumstances and consequences of falls in polio survivors
Alice Bickerstaffe, Anita Beelen, Frans Nollet
Objectives: Many polio survivors have symptoms that are known risk factors for falls in elderly people. This study aims to determine the: (i) frequency; (ii) consequences; (iii) circumstances; and (iv) factors associated with falls in polio survivors.
Methods: A survey was conducted among 376 polio survivors. Participants completed a falls history questionnaire and additional information was obtained from their medical files.
Results: Of the 305 respondents, 74% reported at least one fall in the past year and 60% two or more. Sixteen percent of fallers described a major injury after a fall in the last year and 69% reported fear of falling. One-third of fallers had reduced the amount they walked because of their fear of falling. Most reported falls in a familiar environment (86%), during ambulation (72%) and in the afternoon (50%). Quadriceps weakness of the weakest leg (Medical Research Council (MRC) ≤ 3), fear of falling and complaints of problems maintaining balance were independently associated with both falls and recurrent falls, while increasing age and medication use were not.
Conclusion: The high rate of falls and consequences thereof, merit the implementation of fall intervention strategies. To maximize effect, they should be tailor-made and target the fall mechanisms specific to polio survivors.
Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors.
You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account