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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


GOMES, Grace A. O. et al. Physical performance and number of falls in older adult fallers. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.5, pp.430-437.  Epub Nov 13, 2009. ISSN 1413-3555.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between sociodemographic, clinical, physical and functional data according to physical performance and number of falls among older fallers. METHODS: Cross-sectional study carried out among 72 older adults (76.3 ±8.3 years) with a history of falls in the past year, 65.3% of which were women. The participants received care at the geriatric outpatient clinic of a university hospital in Campinas, SP. They were divided into the following groups: worst physical performance (WPP) and best physical performance (BPP), one-time fallers (1F) and frequent fallers (2F). Sociodemographic, clinical, physical and functional characteristics were considered as independent variables. Comparison analysis between the groups was conducted. RESULTS: The WPP group was older and had a higher number of illnesses and less independence in most motor dimension tasks compared to the BPP group. The 2F group had a higher number of illnesses, less handgrip strength and less independence in the bowel management task in the motor dimension of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) compared to the 1F group. CONCLUSIONS: Among older adults fallers, poor physical performance is associated with more advanced age, more illnesses and less functional independence. Moreover, recurrent falls are associated with more illnesses, less muscle strength and less functional independence in the bowel management task.

Keywords : activities of daily living; muscle strength; musculoskeletal equilibrium; gait; exercise; aging.

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