Occurrence and Predictors of Falls in People With Stroke
Six-Year Prospective Study
Background and Purpose—The purpose was to investigate the occurrence of self-reported falls in people with stroke at 3, 6, and 12 months and 6 years post stroke and predictors for falls during 6 years.
Methods—A prospective study involving 121 people with stroke. Data were obtained through structured interviews and assessments. Generalized estimating equation modeling using proportional odds was used to explore the predictive value of fall history, functioning/disability, and personal factors during 6 years.
Results—The proportion of fallers constituted of 35%, 26%, 33%, and 35% of the sample at 3, 6, and 12 months and 6 years of follow-up, respectively. Higher perceived effect of stroke on activities of daily living (odds ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.80), falls at 3 months (odds ratio, 1.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–3.94), and no gait/balance disability at baseline (odds ratio, 7.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.99–26.73) were predictors for future falls. During the 6 years, the odds for a fall decreased for participants with gait/balance disability at baseline but increased for those with no gait/balance disability.
Conclusions—Results highlight the importance of performing fall risk evaluations over time among people with stroke, even when gait and balance functioning initially post stroke is good.
- Received June 22, 2015.
- Revision received July 1, 2015.
- Accepted July 2, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.