Mobility limitation due to a lack of balance confidence

October 10, 2013, Academy of Finland

A fall and subsequent injury decreases a person's balance confidence and increases his or her fear of falling. People aged over 60 years who had sustained a hip fracture and had a lower sense of balance confidence, also experienced difficulty in walking outdoors and climbing stairs. In addition, compared to those with higher balance confidence, they perform less well in walking and balance tests. This was found in a study performed at the Gerontology Research Center in collaboration with the Central Finland Health Care District. The participants in this project were 130 older people who had sustained a hip fracture due to a fall and lived independently.

"Balance confidence was assessed with the ABC (Activity-specific Balance Confidence) questionnaire. Participants were asked to rate their confidence to complete 16 different daily tasks without losing balance or falling," Postdoctoral Researcher Erja Portegijs explains.

After , mobility function often remains poor and rarely returns to the pre-fracture level. To enable people to independently live at home as long as possible, it is essential to maintain good mobility function. This may prevent the need for assistance and even moving to an institution for long-term care.

"The assessment of balance confidence is relatively easy. Potentially, this method can be used within the healthcare system as an initial screening tool. Identification of people with lack of balance confidence enables the planning of more intensive rehabilitation strategies that facilitate the recovery of mobility function," Portegijs says.

The results were published online in an international scientific journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on December 2012.

Explore further: Two left feet? Study looks to demystify why we lose our balance

More information: Portegijs, E. et al. Balance confidence was associated with mobility and balance performance in older people with fall-related hip fracture: A cross-sectional study, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2012, 93:2340-2346. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.05.022

Related Stories

Two left feet? Study looks to demystify why we lose our balance

August 14, 2013
It's always in front of a million people and feels like eternity. You're strolling along when suddenly you've stumbled—the brain realizes you're falling, but your muscles aren't doing anything to stop it.

Docs' confidence in diagnosis unrelated to diagnostic accuracy

September 4, 2013
(HealthDay)—Physicians' confidence in their diagnostic accuracy is not associated with actual diagnostic accuracy or with case difficulty, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Single dose of ADHD drug can reduce fall risk in older adults

July 17, 2013
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have discovered that a single dose of methylphenidate (MPH), used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, helps to improve balance control ...

Specially developed Wii games can help prevent falls

October 10, 2012
New research, launched today and funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), shows that playing video games can help older people improve their balance and make them less likely to fall.

Researchers find diminished balance in those with poor vision

June 6, 2013
UC Davis Health System Eye Center research has found that visually impaired individuals and those with uncorrected refractive error—those who could benefit from glasses to achieve normal vision but don't wear glasses—have ...

Cardio and weight training reduces access to health care in seniors

May 14, 2013
Forget apples – lifting weights and doing cardio can also keep the doctors away, according a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

Recommended for you

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.