The post-fall syndrome. A study of 36 elderly patients

Gerontology. 1982;28(4):265-70. doi: 10.1159/000212543.


36 patients aged 65 and over who were admitted to hospital after suffering a fall were examined soon after admission and followed for 4 months. 10 patients developed a severe tendency to clutch and grab and were unable to walk unsupported; 9 of these died or were still in hospital 4 months later. 16 patients showed similar signs but were able to walk independently; 5 of these died or were still in hospital after 4 months. 10 patients had no features of the post-fall syndrome; only 1 of these died within 4 months, and one of the survivors remained in hospital. The syndrome may represent the end result of a positive feed-back relationship between disturbed balance and falls.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home*
  • Aged
  • Anxiety
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Locomotion
  • Male
  • Mortality
  • Rehabilitation