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Falls in Post-Polio Patients: Prevalence and Risk Factors

Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem 9765418, Israel
Department of Occupational Therapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Redha Taiar
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1110;
Received: 27 September 2021 / Revised: 26 October 2021 / Accepted: 27 October 2021 / Published: 28 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Bodywork: Applications in Health, Disease, and Rehabilitation)
People with post-polio syndrome (PPS) suffer frequent falls due to muscle weakness and problems with their balance. In order for a rehabilitation clinician to fit the patient with the optimal treatment plan to prevent imbalance and falls, we performed a simple 10-min walking test with 50 PPS patients. We also asked the patients how many falls they had experienced in the last year and they filled out a questionnaire regarding their balance confidence. We found that we can predict the occurrence of falls in PPS patients based on the consistency of their walking pattern. Since it is very easy to measure the walking pattern, our results may help rehabilitation clinicians to identify individuals at risk of fall and reduce the occurrence of falls in this population.
Individuals with post-polio syndrome (PPS) suffer from falls and secondary damage. Aim: To (i) analyze the correlation between spatio-temporal gait data and fall measures (fear and frequency of falls) and to (ii) test whether the gait parameters are predictors of fall measures in PPS patients. Methods: Spatio-temporal gait data of 50 individuals with PPS (25 males; age 65.9 ± 8.0) were acquired during gait and while performing the Timed Up-and-Go test. Subjects filled the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC Scale) and reported number of falls during the past year. Results: ABC scores and number of falls correlated with the Timed Up-and-Go, and gait cadence and velocity. The number of falls also correlated with the swing duration symmetry index and the step length variability. Four gait variability parameters explained 33.2% of the variance of the report of falls (p = 0.006). The gait velocity was the best predictor of the ABC score and explained 24.8% of its variance (p = 0.001). Conclusion: Gait variability, easily measured by wearables or pressure-sensing mats, is an important predictor of falls in PPS population. Therefore, gait variability might be an efficient tool before devising a patient-specific fall prevention program for the PPS patient. View Full-Text
Keywords: gait analysis; coefficient of variability; gait symmetry; timed up and go gait analysis; coefficient of variability; gait symmetry; timed up and go
MDPI and ACS Style

Ofran, Y.; Schwartz, I.; Shabat, S.; Seyres, M.; Karniel, N.; Portnoy, S. Falls in Post-Polio Patients: Prevalence and Risk Factors. Biology 2021, 10, 1110.

AMA Style

Ofran Y, Schwartz I, Shabat S, Seyres M, Karniel N, Portnoy S. Falls in Post-Polio Patients: Prevalence and Risk Factors. Biology. 2021; 10(11):1110.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ofran, Yonah, Isabella Schwartz, Sheer Shabat, Martin Seyres, Naama Karniel, and Sigal Portnoy. 2021. "Falls in Post-Polio Patients: Prevalence and Risk Factors" Biology 10, no. 11: 1110.

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