Can a portable balance system predict fall risk in community-dwelling older women?


PURPOSE: Increased fall risk has been linked to age, being female, and age-related changes in the postural control system. The purpose of this study was to determine if a portable balance system could predict fall risk by determining the relationship among the modified Clinical Test for Sensory Interaction on Balance (mCTSIB) scores, age, the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC) score, and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) score in community-dwelling older women. Insight into these relationships may facilitate early intervention and decrease fall risk in older women.

METHODS: This study was a non-experimental, prospective, cross-sectional, exploratory analysis to determine the relationship among the mCTSIB, age, ABC, and BBS. Women aged 65 years and over were selected from two independent living facilities using a sample of convenience (n=42).

RESULTS: The mCTSIB firm surface, eyes open and the ABC predicted fall risk (BBS) scores, F(2, 36)=35.72, p<0.001, R2=0.67, but adding age did not significantly improve the model, b= -0.17, t(36)= -1.71, p=0.10. CONCLUSION: A portable balance system may be an effective screening tool to predict fall risk in community-dwelling older women and may be used by a variety of allied health professionals. Postural sway, and perceived balance, predicted fall risk scores (BBS). More specifically, data obtained from the mCTSIB firm surface, eyes open test condition when combined with ABC scores could lead to identification of increased fall risk, allowing clinicians to recommend early treatment intervention to prevent future falls.


Information Technology and Cybersecurity
Physical Therapy

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Journal of Allied Health