Prediction of Falls in Subjects Suffering From Parkinson Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Stroke
Abstract Objective To compare the risk of falls and fall predictors in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and stroke using the same study design. Design Multicenter prospective cohort study. Setting Institutions for physical therapy and rehabilitation. Participants Patients (N=299) with PD (n=94), MS (n=111), and stroke (n=94) seen for rehabilitation. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Functional scales were applied to investigate balance, disability, daily performance, self-confidence with balance, and social integration. Patients were followed for 6 months. Telephone interviews were organized at 2, 4, and 6 months to record falls and fall-related injuries. Incidence ratios, Kaplan-Meier survival curves, and Cox proportional hazards models were used. Results Of the 299 patients enrolled, 259 had complete follow-up. One hundred and twenty-two patients (47.1%) fell at least once; 82 (31.7%) were recurrent fallers and 44 (17.0%) suffered injuries; and 16%, 32%, and 40% fell at 2, 4, and 6 months. Risk of falls was associated with disease type (PD, MS, and stroke in decreasing order) and confidence with balance (Activities-specific Balance Confidence [ABC] scale). Recurrent fallers were 7%, 15%, and 24% at 2, 4, and 6 months. The risk of recurrent falls was associated with disease type, high educational level, and ABC score. Injured fallers were 3%, 8%, and 12% at 2, 4, and 6 months. The only predictor of falls with injuries was disease type (PD). Conclusions PD, MS, and stroke carry a high risk of falls. Other predictors include perceived balance confidence and high educational level.
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