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Assessment of the risk of falling with the use of timed up and go test in the elderly with lower extremity osteoarthritis

Authors Zasadzka E, Borowicz AM, Roszak M, Pawlaczyk M

Received 2 April 2015

Accepted for publication 17 June 2015

Published 7 August 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1289—1298


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ewa Zasadzka,1 Adrianna Maria Borowicz,1 Magdalena Roszak,2 Mariola Pawlaczyk1

1Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, 2Department of Computer Science and Statistics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland

Background: Falling in the elderly results in a significant number of admissions to hospitals and long-term care facilities, especially among patients with lower extremity osteoarthritis (OA).
Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the risk of falling in adults older than 60 years with OA using timed up and go (TUG) test.
Materials and methods: A total of 187 patients (aged >60 years) were enrolled in the study. The assessment included: basic activities of daily living (ADLs), lower extremity strength with the use of the 30-second chair stand test (30 CST), and assessment of the risk of falling (TUG test). Pain intensity was evaluated with the numeric rating scale (NRS).
Results: The TUG test results were significantly better in younger OA patients (aged 60–69 years), as compared with their older peers (aged 70–79 years; P<0.01) and the oldest group (aged >80 years; P<0.001). Also, the 30 CST results were significantly higher in younger OA patients (P<0.05). Subjects older than 80 years had a significantly worse ADL score (P<0.05 and P<0.001). Pain complaints were reported significantly more frequently by women than men (P<0.05). A correlation between age and the TUG test score (r=0.412; P<0.0004) as well as between the TUG test and the 30 CST scores (r=0.7368; P=0.000) was detected. In the group with the TUG test score of <13.5 seconds, the 30 CST (P<0.0001) and ADL (P<0.003) results were significantly better. A comparison of fallers vs nonfallers revealed that the number of falls was significantly higher in the group of subjects who scored $13.5 when compared to <13.5 (P=0.003). Fallers significantly more often reported pain (P<0.0001), whereas nonfallers had significantly better 30 CST results (P=0.0003).
Conclusion: Elderly population with OA is at an elevated risk of falling, which increases with progressing age, pain, and muscle weakness. It seems prudent to identify individuals at a high risk of falling and to propose an adequate treatment for them.

Keywords: elderly, osteoarthritis, risk of falling

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