The Coherence between Fear of Falling and Dynamic Postural Capability

Thomas Wolfsegger, Tim J von Oertzen and Barbara Pischinger

Objectives: In the context of fear of falling (FoF) and fall-related self-efficacy have a significant impact on the functional performance in gait mobility, postural function and activities of daily living. In this study, we analysed the relation between FoF with the 7-item version Fall Efficacy Scale-International (short FES-I) and biomechanical measurements of balance.

Methods: 25 geriatric patients with increased short FES-I Score (18.5 CI 14.0-24.1; Cut-off ≥ 10/28 points) carried out fourteen different stance and gait tasks to objective the complex postural capability (Sway StarTM System Specific Body Control Index (BCI) compared trunk sway (°, °/s) and time to go with an age and sex matched control group. Correlation between short FES-I and biomechanical parameters were calculated

Results: Increased short FES-I score do not correlate with BCI and major single tasks trunk sway parameters (° and °/s), but correlate significantly positive with time to go tasks.

Discussion: FoF and lower fall self-efficacy does not necessarily lead to a higher postural instability. However, gait was reduced in speed but not necessarily instable (i.e. increased trunk sway amplitudes). Increasing data in diagnostic procedures will cause more complex recommendations in therapeutic strategies.