Relationship of Falls and Fear of Falling to Activity Limitations and Physical Inactivity in Parkinson’s Disease

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Aim:

To investigate the relationships between falls, fear of falling, and activity limitations in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Design/methods:

Cross-sectional study of individuals with mild to moderate PD (N = 83). Associations among demographic data, fall frequency, disease severity, motor impairment, ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), Activities Balance Confidence Scale, Iowa Fatigue Scale, Comorbidity Index, and Physical Activity Scale for Elders were studied.

Results:

Frequent fallers had more ADL limitations than nonfallers (p < .001) and rare fallers (p = .004). Frequent fallers reported a lower percentage of ability to perform ADL than nonfallers (p = .003). Frequent fallers and rare fallers were less physically active than nonfallers (p = .015 and p = .040, respectively). Frequent fallers and rare fallers reported a higher level of fear of falling than nonfallers (p = .031 and p = .009, respectively).

Conclusions:

Falls and fear of falling were associated with more ADL limitations and less physical activity after adjusting for physical impairments.

Bryant is with Research Service, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX; the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; and the School of Health Professions, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. Rintala is with the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Hou is with Lehigh Neurology, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA. Protas is with the School of Health Professions, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. Address author correspondence to Mon S. Bryant at msbryant@bcm.edu.