Fear of Falling in People With Chronic Stroke

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We assessed the prevalence of fear of falling (FoF) in a sample of people with chronic stroke and compared multiple variables (balance, anxiety, depression, activity and participation, and stroke severity) in people with and without FoF.

METHOD. This study was a secondary analysis of data collected from a cross-sectional study of mobility after stroke in 77 participants with chronic stroke (>6 mo poststroke).

RESULTS. Of the 77 participants, 51 (66%) reported experiencing FoF. People with FoF had significantly decreased balance (p < .001) and activity and participation (p = .006) and significantly increased anxiety (p = .007). People with FoF also had significantly worse stroke severity (p = .001).

CONCLUSION. FoF is a prevalent concern in the chronic stroke population. The presence of FoF was associated with a variety of negative consequences. Occupational therapy practitioners should address FoF to help clients manage FoF and possibly improve recovery.

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