Balance Confidence and Functional Balance in Relation to Falls in Older Persons with Hip Fracture History

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Abstract

Purpose:

To investigate whether self-assessed balance confidence and functional balance are associated with falls in older persons with hip fracture history.

Methods:

This study is a part of a larger study on functional capacity and exercise rehabilitation in hip fracture patients. Seventy-nine patients, operated at the local hospital for collum or trochanter fracture within one-half to 7 years, participated in the laboratory measurements. Balance confidence was assessed with Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC) and functional balance using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). According to self-reported number of falls during the previous 6 months participants were classified as those with falls vs. no falls; recurrent falls (3 or more falls) vs. occasional/no falls (< 3 falls); indoor falls vs. no indoor falls; outdoor falls vs. no outdoor falls. The relationships between ABC, BBS, and fall status were tested by logistic regression.

Results:

Lower BBS score was associated with all falls during previous 6 months (OR 0.929, 95% CI 0.875–0.987). Lower ABC score was associated with recurrent falling (OR 0.974, 0.952–0.998), as well as lower BBS score (OR 0.876, 0.797–0.962). Additionally, lower ABC and lower BBS scores were related to indoor falls (ABC OR 0.975, 0.957–0.993; BBS OR 0.913, 0.852–0.978). Participants with outdoor falls did not differ from those with no outdoor falls in ABC scores or BBS.

Conclusions:

Self-assessed balance confidence and functional balance are related to prevalence of recurrent and indoor falls in older hip fracture patients. Therefore use of Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale and Berg Balance Scale might be reasoned to expand in evaluating the probability for falls among at-risk elders.

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