Development of a dynamic fall risk profile in elderly nursing home residents: A free field gait analysis based study

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2021 Mar-Apr;93:104294. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2020.104294. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Abstract

Falls in nursing home residents are associated with a significant individual and socioeconomic burden of disease. To trigger and tailor individual intervention programs, solid early detection measures of residents at risk are needed. Aim of this study was thus to test the capability of a free field gait analysis insole to determine its usefulness in determining fall risk. In an observational study gait data of 22 nursing home residents over the age of 75 years was collected over one week with a measuring insole. Clinical scores were performed at baseline (POMA; DGI, TUG). For 6 months before and after the insole measurement, the fall events per resident were recorded. Correlation analysis as well as receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were performed. The average resident age was 88.2 years (range 78-99), 15 had at least one fall event. There was no significant correlation between clinical assessment and fall risk. Moderate correlations between different temporospatial parameters and fall risk were seen. Pressure distribution during gait was markedly changed in fallers. Differences between fallers and non-fallers as well as cut off values for increased fall risk in the ROC analysis could be determined. The introduced measurement protocol suggests that patients at risk for falling can be detected without any additional office visits. Based on the introduced protocol in a limited patient setting, further large scale studies should now determine the effect of prevention measures triggered by gait analysis, the specific risk reduction and the associated personal and socioeconomic advantages.

Keywords: Dynamic gait analysis; Elderly; Fall risk.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Gait Analysis*
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Risk Factors