Functional Mobility

Functional Mobility Discriminates Nonfallers From One-Time and Frequent Fallers

Studie von: Gunter et al.


Background. Given that 90% of hip fractures result from a fall, individuals who fall frequently are more likely to be at greater risk for fracture than one-time fallers. Our aim was to determine whether performance variables associated with injurious falls could be used to distinguish frequent fallers from both one-time fallers and nonfallers.

Methods. A total of 157 men and women (77.4 ± 5.4 years) were recruited and categorized into one of the following three groups based on falls status over the previous 12 months: nonfallers (n = 48), one-time fallers (n = 56), and frequent fallers (more than one fall) (n = 53). All subjects were evaluated on functional mobility and lower extremity strength and power.

Results. Using multivariate analysis of covariance with height as a covariate, nonfallers were significantly faster than both one-time and frequent fallers during the Get Up and Go (a test involving lower extremity strength and power, and mobility) and faster than one-time fallers on the Tandem Gait (p < .01).

There were no significant differences between groups for other mobility variables or for laboratory measures of strength and power. Because one-time and frequent fallers were similar on all measures, they were grouped as “fallers” in discriminant analysis. The Get Up and Go discriminated between the fallers and nonfallers with a final Wilks’s Lambda of .900 (p < .001) and correctly classified 72.4% of fallers and nonfallers before crossvalidation and 71.2% of the cases after validation.

Conclusions. Given that the Get Up and Go discriminates between fallers and nonfallers and is associated with lower extremity strength and power, fall prevention strategies should focus on improving both functional mobility and lower extremity strength and power.




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