Volume 53 Number 5, 2016
Pages 551 — 560
Abstract — The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between balance confidence and community-based physical activity. Twenty-two community-dwelling patients with right or left unilateral transtibial amputation who reported no falls in the past 6 mo completed the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC) and wore a StepWatch Activity Monitor for 7 consecutive d in the community. Subjects were subsequently stratified as low (<3,000 steps/d) or high (>/=3,000 steps/d) activity groups. Balance confidence was significantly lower among the low activity weekday group (LAG) (70.8 +/– 12.0 vs 88.9 +/– 8.7, t(20) = 3.97, p = 0.001). Further, correlation analysis revealed a positive correlation between ABC score and step total (r = 0.55, p < 0.01). It is unknown whether the LAG limited ambulation as an intentional strategy of fall-risk avoidance. Although clinicians routinely inquire about falls in the community among patients with lower-limb amputation, the results of this study emphasize the importance of contextualizing recent fall history relative to activity level. Clinicians can use this contextual information when considering the inclusion of appropriate fall-risk mediation strategies relative to activity levels and counseling patients on the benefits of physical exercise for maintaining functional capacity and general health.
Key Words: ambulation, amputation, amputees, artificial limbs, balance confidence, fall risk, lower limb, mobility capacity, physical activity, prosthesis.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, November 2, 2016 11:37 AM