Volume 50 Number 9, 2013
Pages 1277 — 1286
Abstract — Falls are common after stroke; however, circumstances and consequences are relatively unknown. Our objectives were to identify the differences between fallers and ??non-fallers among people with chronic stroke, identify the circumstances of fall events, and examine the consequences of the falls. This is a secondary data analysis; all participants included sustained a stroke. Variables included demographics, stroke characteristics, and comorbidities. Falls were collected via self-report, and circumstances and consequences were derived from participant description of the event and categorized as appropriate. Among 160 participants, 53 (33%) reported a fall during the 1 yr period. Circumstances of falls were categorized as intrinsic or extrinsic. Location and circumstance of the fall were included: 70% occurred at home and 40% were associated with impaired physical or mental state (e.g., inattention to tying shoes). Additionally, 21% of falls were associated with activities of daily living and mobility and 34% with slips or trips. The majority who fell sustained an injury (72%). Injuries ranged from bruising to fractures, and 55% of those with an injury sought medical care (32% to emergency department). Poststroke falls are associated with an alarming rate of injury and healthcare utilization. Targeting mental and physical states may be key to fall prevention.
Key words: activities of daily living, circumstances, consequences, disability, emergency, falls, injury, mobility, rehabilitation, stroke.
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