A population-based study of fall risk factors among people with multiple sclerosis in Stockholm county.
journal contributionposted on 18.03.2014, 00:00 by Charlotte Ytterberg, Ulrika Einarsson, Lotta Widén Holmqvist, Elizabeth Walker Peterson
Objective: To identify factors associated with increased likelihood of reporting a recent fall among people with multiple sclerosis. This study was exploratory in its intent to examine sense of coherence as a contextual influence on fall risk. The study also sought to confirm that variables previously identified as fall risk factors for people with multiple sclerosis persist when tested in a population-based sample. Design: The study was cross-sectional and data was obtained in the context of a population-based study of people with multiple sclerosis living in Stockholm. Subjects: A total of 164 people with multiple sclerosis, age range 19–79 years. Methods: Data were gathered through established instruments. Key instruments utilized included the sense of coherence scale, the Lindmark Motor Capacity Assessment’s subscale for balance, and the 10-metre walking test. A logistic regression model examined factors associated with reporting a fall in the past 3 months. Results: Of the participants, 62 (38%) reported experiencing at least one fall in the past 3 months. Reduced walking speed, impaired balance, and weak sense of coherence were associated with falls in the past 3 months. Conclusion: These findings underscore the importance of examining diverse and modifiable influences on fall risk, including walking speed, balance and sense of coherence, in future studies involving people with multiple sclerosis.