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Can the gait speed identify elderly with fear of falling?

Mayle Andrade Moreira Bruna Silva Oliveira Kalianny Queiroz de Moura Denise Macedo Tapajós Álvaro Campos Cavalcanti Maciel About the authors

OBJECTIVE: This paper aimed to analyze the predictive ability of gait speed in identifying elderly with fear of falling. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional analytical study conducted with a sample of 60 community elders. Data were collected through structured questionnaire, analysis of gait speed to walk a distance of 4.6 m and the fear of falling, which was assessed by the Falls Efficacy Scale. The predictive ability of the gait speed was determined by multiple linear regression, with significance level p <0.05 and CI 95%. RESULTS: In relation to gait speed, the average was 0.71 (± 0.21) m / s, while for scale of self-efficacy of falls the average score was 24.85 (± 6.68). In multiple linear regression analysis, the total score of the Falls Efficacy Scale remained significantly associated (R² = 0.35) with self-reported depression, functional limitation for basic activities of daily living and gait speed. CONCLUSION: The gait speed beyond depression and self-reported functional limitation in basic activities of daily living, are able to identify elderly people with fear of falling. Thus, the investigation of the health in this population could be useful to detect the fear of falling, and identify what precautions are priority interventions to improve the functionality and quality of life of elderly people.

Elderly; Gait; Fear

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