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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Prospective comparison of assessments to evaluate fall risk in a nursing home population]

R Schwesig, A Kluttig, K Kriebel, S Becker, S Leuchte
Zeitschrift Für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 2009, 42 (6): 473-8
19688177

BACKGROUND: Falls represent the main health risk in the over-60 age group. Therefore, evaluation of the individual fall risk and assessment of fall mechanisms are important preventive tools.

STUDY QUESTION: The goal of this study was to validate a new posturographic measurement system [Interactive Balance System (IBS)] in terms of fall prediction.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In all, 108 subjects (mean age: 81.9+/-9.5 years) were submitted to the IBS, as well as other fall risk assessment methods [FES-1, Timed-Up-and-Go Test, Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment (Tinetti-Test), Chair-Rising-Test, Tandem stance). The follow-up period of 6 months prospectively recorded all falls using a fall diary.

RESULTS: Of the nursing home residents studied, 25 (23%) fell at least once. The posturographic fall index FI(F1&WDI) (sensitivity: 88%) and the Timed-Up-and-Go Test (PPV: 38%) showed the best results regarding sensitivity and positive prediction value (PPV).

CONCLUSION: The IBS and the Timed-Up-and-Go Test proved to be the most powerful assessment tools for fall prediction. Furthermore, the IBS is able to provide a purposeful adaption of preventive sensomotoric interventions.

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