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Mobility measures differentiate falls risk status in persons with multiple sclerosis: An exploratory study

Sebastião, E., Learmonth, Y.C.ORCID: 0000-0002-4857-8480 and Motl, R.W. (2017) Mobility measures differentiate falls risk status in persons with multiple sclerosis: An exploratory study. NeuroRehabilitation, 40 (1). pp. 153-161.

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BACKGROUND: Falls are of great concern among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).

OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in metrics of mobility, postural control, and cognition in persons with MS with distinct fall risk status; and to investigate predictors of fall risk group membership using discriminant analysis.

METHODS: Forty-seven persons with MS completed the Activities-Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale and underwent a battery of assessments of mobility, balance, and cognition. Participants further wore an accelerometer for 7 days as an assessment of steps/day. Participants were allocated into fall risk groups based on ABC scale scores (increased fall risk (IFR); and normal fall risk (NFR)). We examined univariate differences between groups using ANOVA, and discriminant function analysis (DFA) identified the significant multivariate predictors of FR status.

RESULTS: After controlling for disability level, the IFR group had significantly (p<0.05) worse scores on measures of mobility (i.e., MSWS-12, 6MW, and steps/day) compared to the NFR group. DFA identified MSWS-12 and 6MW scores as significant (p<0.05) predictors of fall risk group membership. Those two variables collectively explained 55 of variance in fall risk grouping.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that mobility should be the focus of rehabilitation programs in persons with MS, especially for those at IFR.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: IOS Press
Copyright: © 2017 IOS Press and the authors
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