Mobility has a non-linear association with falls risk among people in residential aged care: an observational study

Barker, Anna L., Nitz, Jennifer C., Low Choy, Nancy L. and Haines, Terry P. (2012) Mobility has a non-linear association with falls risk among people in residential aged care: an observational study. Journal of Physiotherapy, 58 2: 117-125. doi:10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70092-9


Author Barker, Anna L.
Nitz, Jennifer C.
Low Choy, Nancy L.
Haines, Terry P.
Title Mobility has a non-linear association with falls risk among people in residential aged care: an observational study
Journal name Journal of Physiotherapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1836-9553
0004-9514
Publication date 2012-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70092-9
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 58
Issue 2
Start page 117
End page 125
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chatswood, NSW, Australia
Publisher Elsevier Australia
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Questions: What is the association between mobility and falls risk for people living in residential agedcare? Can the Physical Mobility Scale discriminate between residents at risk of falling and those not at risk?

Design:
Prospective longitudinal observational study.

Setting:
Six residential agedcare facilities in Australia.

Participants:
Eighty-seven high- and low-level care permanent residents.

Outcome measures:
The primary outcome measure was the number of falls in the six months after the initial mobility assessment. Mobility of all participants was assessed using the Physical Mobility Scale, which includes nine mobility items assessed on a 0–5 scale yielding a total score out of 45.

Results:
During the six-month study period, 131 falls were reported. Residents with mild mobility impairment (Physical Mobility Scale total score 28–36) had the highest fall risk (hazard ratio = 1.98, 95% CI 1.30 to 3.03). Residents with fully dependent mobility (Physical Mobility Scale total score 0–9) had the lowest risk for falls (HR = 0.05, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.32).

Conclusion:
Agedcare residents with mild mobility impairment are at increased risk of falls and are an appropriate target for falls prevention strategies. Although improving the mobility of residents with moderate to severe mobility impairment may enhance their independence and reduce their burden on staff, paradoxically this may also increase their risk of falls. When these residents improve enough to progress into a higher category of mobility, physiotherapists should be aware that this may increase the risk of falls and should consider instituting appropriate falls prevention strategies.
Keyword Aged
Nursing homes
Outcome assessment (health care)
Mobility limitation
Accidental falls
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 04 May 2012, 20:35:48 EST by Jennifer Nitz on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences