Skip To Main Content University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  maximizing potential across the lifespan

Title:

Understanding falls in Multiple Sclerosis: Association with mobility status, concerns about falling, and accumulated impairments

Author(s):

Matsuda, PN, Shumway-Cook, A, Ciol, MA, Bombardier, C, Kartin, D

Year:

2012

Publication Info:

Physical Therapy, 92(3):407-415

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Falls in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are a serious health concern, and the percentage of people who restrict their activity because of concerns about falling (CAF) is not known. Mobility function and accumulated impairments are associated with fall risk in older adults but not in people with stroke and have not been studied in people with MS.
OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were: (1) to estimate the percentage of people who have MS and report falling, CAF, and activity restrictions related to CAF; (2) to examine associations of these factors with fall status; and (3) to explore associations of fall status with mobility function and number of accumulated impairments.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted.
METHODS: A total of 575 community-dwelling people with MS provided information about sociodemographics, falls, CAF, activity restrictions related to CAF, mobility function, and accumulated impairments. Chi-square statistics were used to explore associations among these factors.
RESULTS: In all participants, about 62% reported CAF and about 67% reported activity restrictions related to CAF. In participants who did not experience falls, 25.9% reported CAF and 27.7% reported activity restrictions related to CAF. Mobility function was associated with fall status; participants reporting moderate mobility restrictions reported the highest percentage of falls, and participants who were nonwalkers (ie, had severely limited self-mobility) reported the lowest percentage. Falls were associated with accumulated impairments; the participants who reported the highest percentage of 2 or more falls were those with 10 impairments.
LIMITATIONS: This cross-sectional study relied on self-reported falls, mobility, and impairment status, which were not objectively verified.
CONCLUSIONS: Both CAF and activity restrictions related to CAF were common in people with MS and were reported by people who experienced falls and those who did not. The association of fall status with mobility function did not appear to be linear. Fall risk increased with declining mobility function; however, at a certain threshold, further declines in mobility function were associated with fewer falls, possibly because of reduced fall risk exposure.

Link to Article:

http://dx.doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20100380

Featured Research Articles

Chronic Pain

View the latest research articles on Chronic Pain written by faculty from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Volunteer to Participate in our Research Studies

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is looking for volunteers to participate in research studies on Multiple Sclerosis & Pain Management, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Level A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Copyright © 2000-2017 University of Washington