Posturographic measures did not improve the predictive power to identify recurrent falls in communitydwelling elderly fallers
Keywords:Accidental Falls, Aging, Postural Balance, Risk Factors
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate if posturography can be considered a recurrent fall predictor in elderly individuals. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study. A total of 124 subjects aged 60 to 88 years were evaluated and divided into two groups—the recurrent fallers (89) and single fallers (35) groups. Patients’ sociodemographic characteristics were assessed, and clinical testing was performed. The functional test assessment instruments used were timed up and go test (TUGT), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), five times sit-to-stand test, and Falls Efficacy Scale (to measure fear of falling). Static posturography was performed in a force platform in the following three different situations—eyes open (EO), eyes closed (EC), and EO dual task. RESULTS: There were significant differences between the single and recurrent fallers groups regarding the fear of falling, the Geriatric Depression Scale score, the mean speed calculated from the total displacement of the center point of pressure (COP) in all directions with EO, and the root mean square of the displacement from the COP in the mediolateral axis with EC. Based on the hierarchical logistic regression model, none of the studied posturographic variables was capable of significantly increasing the power of differentiation between the recurrent and single fallers groups. Only TUGT with a cognitive distractor (po0.05) and the BBS (po0.01) presented with significant independent predictive power. CONCLUSION: TUGT with a cognitive distractor and the BBS were considered recurrent fall predictors in elderly fallers.