Falls prediction in elderly people: a 1-year prospective study

Gait Posture. 2010 Mar;31(3):317-21. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.11.013. Epub 2010 Jan 4.


The aim of the present study was to determine whether force plate variables in single- and dual-task situations are able to predict the risk of multiple falls in a community-dwelling elderly population. Two hundred and seventy elderly persons (225 females, 45 males; age, 73+/-7 years) performed balance assessment with and without vision. Seven force plate variables were assessed to predict the risk of multiple falls; maximum displacement in the anteroposterior and medial-lateral directions (Max-AP, Max-ML), mean displacement in the medial-lateral direction (MML), the root mean square amplitude in anteroposterior and medial-lateral directions (RMS-AP, RMS-ML), the average speed of displacement (V), and the area of the 95th percentile ellipse (AoE). Falls were prospectively recorded during the following year. A total of 437 registered falls occurred during monitoring period. The force plate variable RMS-ML in the single-task condition (odds ratio, 21.8) predicted multiple falls together with the following covariables: history of multiple falls (odds ratio, 5.6), use of medications (fall-risk medications or multiple medicine use; odds ratio, 2.3), and gender (odds ratio, 0.34). Multiple fallers had a narrower stance width than non-fallers.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Vision, Ocular