Article

Failing in Parkinson disease - Identifying and prioritizing risk factors in recurrent fallers

University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.01). 09/2007; 86(8):621-32. DOI: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e311611583
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify falling risk factors in a study population of recurrent fallers compared with nonfallers who have Parkinson disease, and to prioritize falling risk factors in this patient population to target them for modification.
Twenty-three recurrent fallers and 25 nonfallers who have Parkinson disease were recruited, and they participated in a comprehensive assessment probing for the presence of falling risk factors. To identify falling risk factors, a group comparative design was used to compare recurrent fallers and nonfallers across an array of variables. To prioritize those risk factors, modeling using recursive partitioning was performed, entering into the model falling, risk factors identified in this and other studies that were considered potentially modifiable.
A specific profile of variables distinguished recurrent fallers who have Parkinson disease in our study population: higher disease severity, higher level of motor impairment, higher level of disability, impaired leg agility or lower-limb coordination, impaired ability to arise from a chair or compromised proximal lower-limb motor control, impaired ambulation, impaired motor planning of the hands and feet, impaired dynamic balance as measured by ability to walk in tandem, and fear of falling. Recursive partitioning prioritized three risk factors: impaired ambulation, impaired lower-limb motor planning, and orthostasis.
In this study, an idiosyncratic falling risk factor profile was demonstrated among our subjects who have Parkinson disease. Three variables were prioritized for potential modification: impaired ambulation, impaired lower-limb motor planning, and orthostasis.

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