Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2014 , Vol 17, Issue 3
Hakan ALKAN1, Necmettin YILDIZ1, Ayşe SARSAN1, Nuray AKKAYA1, Gülin FINDIKOĞLU1, Özgür SEVİNÇ2, Oya TOPUZ1, Füsun ARDIÇ1
1Pamukkale Üniversitesi, Tıp Fakültesi Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı DENİZLİ
2Pamukkale Üniversitesi, Tıp Fakültesi Halk Sağlığı Anabilim Dalı DENİZLİ
Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an association between fall risk measured posturographically and clinical balance tests among people who are over 65 years of age, and to identify the discriminative ability of the posturographic fall risk index.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred and twenty participants who were over 65 years of age were included in the study. The balance and fall risk of participants were assessed with the Berg balance scale (BBS) and a posturography device; functional mobility with the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test; lower extremity neuromuscular function with the Chair Stand test (CST) and quality of life with the Short Form-36 (SF-36). Participants were grouped into two, as fallers and nonfallers, on the basis of the past year's fall history.

Results: A total of 78 participant (35.5%) had a history of falling, while 142 (64.5%) of the subjects did not. Age, TUG and posturographic fall risk index of fallers were significantly higher than for nonfallers, whilst some subgroups of the SF-36, BBS and mean CST scores were lower (p<0.05). There were negative correlations between posturographic fall risk and the BBS (r=-0.84) and CST (r=-0.40) yet a positive correlation with the TUG (r=0.67) (p<0.05). Using the agreement between the posturographic fall risk index and history of falls, the area under the ROC curve was 0.818. In this study, when the cut-off value 51≤ was used, sensitivity was found to be 76.9% and specificity was 73.9%, with a higher value for the Youden index: 0.508.

Conclusion: It was shown that fallers had poorer balance, functional mobility, lower extremity neuromuscular function and quality of life than nonfallers. The study also demonstrated that posturographically obtained fall risk was significantly correlated with clinical balance tests and had good discriminative ability to identify fallers. Keywords : Aged; Postural Balance; Accidental Falls