1 Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, The Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, VBN2 Department of Health Science and Technology, The Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, VBN3 unknown
can it be assessed?
BACKGROUND: Falls amongst elderly people are often associated with fractures. Training of balance and physical performance can reduce fall risk; however, it remains a challenge to identify individuals at increased risk of falling to whom this training should be offered. It is believed that fall risk can be assessed by testing balance performance. In this study a test battery of physiological parameters related to balance and falls was designed to address fall risk in a community dwelling elderly population. RESULTS: Ninety-four elderly males and females between 70 and 80 years of age were included in a one year follow-up study. A fall incidence of 15% was reported. The test battery scores were not different between the fallers and non-fallers. Test scores were, however, related to self-reported health. In spite of inclusion of dynamic tests, the test battery had low fall prediction rates, with a sensitivity and specificity of 50% and 43% respectively. CONCLUSION: Individuals with poor balance were identified but falls were not predicted by this test battery. Physiological balance characteristics can apparently not be used in isolation as adequate indicators of fall risk in this population of community dwelling elderly. Falling is a complex phenomenon of multifactorial origin. The crucial factor in relation to fall risk is the redundancy of balance capacity against the balance demands of the individuals levels of fall-risky lifestyle and behavior. This calls for an approach to fall risk assessment in which the physiological performance is evaluated in relation to the activity profile of the individual. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-null
Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine, 2007, Vol 6, Issue 11, p. 2-13
Accidental Falls; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Health Status; Humans; Incidence; Logistic Models; Male; Motor Activity; Musculoskeletal Equilibrium; Predictive Value of Tests; Questionnaires; Risk Assessment; Self Assessment (Psychology)