Predictive Effects of Different Clinical Balance Measures and the Fear of Falling on Falls in Postmenopausal Women Aged 50 Years and Over

ERSOY Y. , MacWalter R. S. , Durmus B., Altay Z. E. , Baysal O.

GERONTOLOGY, vol.55, no.6, pp.660-665, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000235652
  • Title of Journal : GERONTOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.660-665


Background: Falls among the elderly are associated with a high morbidity and mortality and can involve high-cost medical interventions. The risk of falls often remains undiagnosed until an episode occurs but if the risk is high, preventative measures could be introduced. Objectives: This 6-month prospective study investigated whether different postural clinical measures and fear of falling (FOF) itself can predict future falls in postmenopausal women aged >= 50 years. Methods: 125 postmenopausal women were studied comparing the outcome of fallers vs. non-fallers within the 6-month follow-up study period. Clinical measures, history of falls and FOF data were determined at baseline and the number of falls and FOF were ascertained at the final visit or by telephone interview at 6 months. Results: Of the clinical measures investigated, the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) >26 points (OR = 7.28, per additional point, 95% CI 2.25-23.61, p = 0.001) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) <= 52 points (OR = 4.77, per additional point, 95% CI = 1.15-19.82, p = 0.031) performed best in prediction of the future falls. Conclusions: Postmenopausal women aged >= 50 years who had FES-I scores >26 points and BBS <= 52 points should be examined for risk factors of future falls and offered preventative measures. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel