Reading: The ability of functional mobility tests to identify elderly with recurrent falls

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The ability of functional mobility tests to identify elderly with recurrent falls

Authors:

KCR Kumara ,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, Sri Lanka, LK
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PV De Silva,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka, LK
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U De Silva,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, Sri Lanka, LK
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S Lekamwasam

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Falls are common and often a devastating problem among elderly people causing a tremendous amount of morbidity, mortality and use of health care facilities. Prognostic tools are needed to identify elders with an increased risk of falling in order to take preventive actions. Frequently used tools include Timed Up and Go test (TUG), Five times Sit To Stand (5-STS) and Six Meter Walk Test (SMWT). The present study was performed to assess whether the TUG, 5-STS and SMWT were different between elderly fallers and non fallers, and to test their ability to discriminate them.

Methods: Study was carried out on hospital patients in a tertiary care hospital in the Southern province. Elderly patients attending medical clinics in this hospital were considered for the selection of study sample. Patients who self reported multiple falls within the previous 12 months were recruited as cases and age and sex matched patients without falls during last 12 months were recruited as controls.

Results: There is no significant difference between the mean durations of SMWT and 5-STS among fallers and non-fallers. However, mean duration for the test TUG was significantly higher among fallers compared to nonfallers. According to the ROC analysis, best TUG cut- off point to identify the fallers was 11.8 seconds which was associated with sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 60%.

Conclusion: Of the mobility tests examined, TUG provided the best discrimination between multiple fallers and non-fallers. Thus it can be used to identify the patients who are at risk of falls.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v19i2.7906

Galle Medical Journal 2014 19(2): 1-5
How to Cite: Kumara, K. et al., (2015). The ability of functional mobility tests to identify elderly with recurrent falls. Galle Medical Journal. 19(2), pp.1–5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v19i2.7906
Published on 11 Jan 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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