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Factors related to gait and balance deficits in older adults

Authors Al-Momani M, Al-Momani F, Alghadir AH, Alharethy S, Gabr SA

Received 7 May 2016

Accepted for publication 1 June 2016

Published 9 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1043—1049

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S112282

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Murad Al-Momani,1 Fidaa Al-Momani,2 Ahmad H Alghadir,3 Sami Alharethy,1 Sami A Gabr3,4

1Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery (ORL-HNS), College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; 3Rehabilitation Research Chair, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities on gait and balance deficits among nursing home residents with different diseases in Jordan and also to find the risk of fall associated with or without these diseases.
Methods: A sample of 221 nursing home residents aged 18–100 years in Jordan was recruited for this study. All participants were assessed using the Arabic versions of the Tinetti assessment battery (TAB) for gait and balance, mini–mental state examination, and disability of arm, shoulder, and hand assessment test.
Results: A total of 221 nursing home residents were included in this study. Different chronic diseases were medically reported in this study. Psychiatric disorders (45.7%) were shown to be the most prevalent disease seen among the participants, followed by hypertension and diabetes mellitus affecting 33.5% and 23.5% of the participants, respectively. However, the least prevalent diseases were stroke (17.2%), joint inflammation (17.2%), and arthritis (9.0%). Based on TAB scores, the participants were classified into three groups: high risk of falls (≤18; n=116), moderate risk of falls (19–23; n=25), and low risk of falls (≥24; n=80). The correlation between physical activity and mental health problems with risks of falls was reported in all participants. The data showed that participants with over 50% upper extremity disability, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, joint diseases, diabetes, and hypertension recorded higher risks of falls as measured by TAB test compared to those with low and moderate TAB scores. Also, impairment in cognitive abilities and psychiatric disorders was shown to be associated with gait and balance problems, with a higher risk of falls in 47.5% and 46.1% of the residents, respectively.
Conclusion: This study revealed a significant impact of upper limb disability, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, joint diseases, diabetes, and hypertension as well as psychiatric disorders and cognitive disabilities on gait and balance deficits among home-resident older adults.

Keywords: risk factors, gait and balance deficits, upper limb disability, arthritis

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