Identifying Fallers and Nonfallers With the Maximal Base of Support Width (BSW): A One-year Prospective Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purpose of this prospective cohort study was to determine whether the maximal width of the base of support (BSW) measure is able to predict the risk of multiple falls in community-dwelling women. Thirty-eight community-dwelling women (mean age of 72 ± 8 years old) participated. Falls were prospectively recorded during the following year. Overall, 29 falls were recorded; six (16%) women were multiple fallers and 32 (84%) were nonfallers. There was a significant difference in the BSW between the fallers and nonfallers (F[1, 37] = 5.134 [p = .030]). A logistic regression analysis indicated a significant contribution of the BSW test to the model (odds ratio = 0.637; 95% CI [0.407, 0.993]; p = .046 per 1 cm).The cut-off score was determined to be 27.8 cm (67% sensitivity and 84% specifcity). These results indicate that women with a smaller BSW at baseline had a significantly higher risk of sustaining a fall.

Swanenburg is with Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Research, Directorate of Research and Education, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; the Department of Physiotherapy, Balgrist University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland; and the Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. Mittaz Hager is with University of Applied Sciences Valais, Domain Health and Social Work, Leukerbad, Switzerland. Nevzati is with Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. Klipstein is with the Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. Address author correspondence to Jaap Swanenburg at