Fear of Falling in Claudicants and Its Relationship to Physical Ability, Balance, and Quality of Life

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Abstract

Objectives:

Intermittent claudication is associated with poor physical function, quality of life (QoL), and balance impairment. Fear of falling (FoF) is a recognized contributing factor to poor physical ability. Any link between claudication and FoF is yet to be determined. This study aimed to explore the prevalence of FoF in claudicants and its relationship with physical function and QoL.

Methods:

A prospective observational study was performed. Fear of falling was determined using the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) questionnaire and the categorical question “Are you afraid of falling?” Physical ability and QoL (Short Form 36 and Vascular QoL) were determined.

Results:

A total of 161 claudicants (118 men, median age of 69 years) were assessed; 83 answered the categorical question “Are you afraid of falling?” By receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis, an ABC threshold <74% denoted a FoF, which was associated with poorer physical function and QoL.

Conclusion:

Fear of falling is associated with poor physical, social, and psychological function, addressing this may improve all aspects of health.

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