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Review

Diagnostic Balance Tests for Assessing Risk of Falls and Distinguishing Older Adult Fallers and Non-Fallers: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

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Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Primorska, Polje 42, SI-6310 Izola, Slovenia
2
Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska, Muzejski trg 2, SI-6000 Koper, Slovenia
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Physiko- & Rheumatherapie, Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria
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Centre of Active Ageing—Competence Centre for Health, Prevention and Active Ageing, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria
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Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Neugebäudeplatz 1, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria
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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Ugo Bassi, 58/B, 35131 Padova, Italy
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Interdepartmental Research Center of Myology, University of Padova, Via Ugo Bassi, 58/B, 35131 Padova, Italy
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A&C M-C Foundation for Translational Myology, Padova, Galleria Duomo 5, 35141 Padova, Italy
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InnoRenew CoE, Livade 6, SI6310 Izola, Slovenia
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Laboratory for Motor Control and Motor Behavior, S2P, Science to Practice, Ltd., Tehnološki park 19, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2020, 10(9), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10090667
Received: 12 August 2020 / Revised: 1 September 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Diagnostics and Managements)
Falls are a major cause of injury and morbidity in older adults. To reduce the incidence of falls, a systematic assessment of the risk of falling is of paramount importance. The purpose of this systematic review was to provide a comprehensive comparison of the diagnostic balance tests used to predict falls and for distinguishing older adults with and without a history of falls. We conducted a systematic review of the studies in which instrumented (force plate body sway assessment) or other non-instrumented balance tests were used. We analyzed the data from 19 prospective and 48 retrospective/case-control studies. Among the non-instrumented tests, the single-leg stance test appears to be the most promising for discrimination between fallers and non-fallers. In terms of body sway measures, the center-of-pressure area was most consistently associated with falls. No evidence was found for increased benefit of the body sway test when cognitive tasks were added, or the vision was eliminated. While our analyses are limited due to the unbalanced representation of different test and outcome measures across studies, we can recommend the single-leg test for the assessment of the risk of falling, and the measurements of body sway for a more comprehensive assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: older adults; falls; fall history; body sway; functional reach; single-leg test; Romberg test older adults; falls; fall history; body sway; functional reach; single-leg test; Romberg test
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kozinc, Ž.; Löfler, S.; Hofer, C.; Carraro, U.; Šarabon, N. Diagnostic Balance Tests for Assessing Risk of Falls and Distinguishing Older Adult Fallers and Non-Fallers: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Diagnostics 2020, 10, 667. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10090667

AMA Style

Kozinc Ž, Löfler S, Hofer C, Carraro U, Šarabon N. Diagnostic Balance Tests for Assessing Risk of Falls and Distinguishing Older Adult Fallers and Non-Fallers: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Diagnostics. 2020; 10(9):667. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10090667

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kozinc, Žiga, Stefan Löfler, Christian Hofer, Ugo Carraro, and Nejc Šarabon. 2020. "Diagnostic Balance Tests for Assessing Risk of Falls and Distinguishing Older Adult Fallers and Non-Fallers: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis" Diagnostics 10, no. 9: 667. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10090667

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