Gait variables differentiating fallers from nonfallers

Ann H Newstead, J Gail Walden, Andrew J Gitter
Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy 2007, 30 (3): 93-101

PURPOSE: This study examined the qualitative and quantitative differences between 2 groups of older adults, fallers and nonfallers. We compared walking differences during overground walking to a task of obstacle clearance.

METHODS: Forty-eight community dwelling older adults (18 fallers and 30 nonfallers) participated. The mean age of the participants was 78.1 +/- 7.2 years (fallers) and 75.8 +/- 5.1 years (nonfallers). Walking differences within and between fallers and nonfallers during a single visit for 6 conditions were examined: (1) baseline walking, (2) slow walking, (3) fast walking, and (4) 5 cm obstacle clearance - approach, during, and exit. Quantitative differences of temporal-spatial walking measures were analyzed using a multifactorial ANOVA adjusted for age, gender, height, and BMI with a Scheffe correction (p < 0.05) applied for multiple testing. Qualitative data were analyzed using Chi-square fisher's exact test.

RESULTS: There were interaction effects for group by walking condition for single support (p = 0.002) and step length (p = 0.05), while 1st double support approached significance (p = 0.06). Main Group effects were found during the comfortable walk (p < 0.001-0.05) for all 7 gait variables. Qualitatively, the fallers demonstrated increased knee flexion during both over ground walking (c2 = 9.01 ; p < 0.006), and the fallers consistently took several small steps immediately prior to the obstacle clearance (c2 = 8.42 ; p = 0.007).

CONCLUSION: There were significant differences in quantitative and qualitative walking characteristics differentiating fallers from nonfallers during over-ground walking at different velocities and during obstacle clearance.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"