Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 15

Gait Speed as a Screening Tool for Foot Pain and the Risk of Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Women: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Štefan L, Kasović M, Zvonar M

Received 20 May 2020

Accepted for publication 23 July 2020

Published 4 September 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1569—1574

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S260931

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Lovro Štefan,1 Mario Kasović,1,2 Martin Zvonar2,3

1Faculty of Kinesiology, Department of General and Applied Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; 2Faculty of Sports Studies, Department of Sports Motorics, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; 3RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Correspondence: Lovro Štefan
Faculty of Kinesiology, Department of General and Applied Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Horvaćanski Zavoj 15, Zagreb, Croatia
Tel +385-98-9177-060
Email lovro.stefan1510@gmail.com

Purpose: The main purpose of the study was to establish a gait speed cut-off value to predict foot pain and the risk of falls among community-dwelling older adults.
Patients and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, one-hundred and twenty White older women speaking Croatian (mean ± SD age 71.02 ± 6.78 years, height 161.77 ± 6.23 cm, weight 70.29 ± 12.97 kg, body mass index 26.79 ± 4.42 kg/m2) were recruited. The prevalence of foot pain was assessed by a single-item question and the risk of falls by the Downtown Fall Risk Index with a proposed cut-off value of “low risk” (< 3 points) vs “high risk” (≥ 3 points) of falls. Self-selected gait speed (the independent variable) was estimated with a pressure platform (Zebris Company, Munich, Germany).
Results: Mean gait speed was 0.95 m/s. Of the total sample, 53.30% and 33.30% reported foot pain and had higher risk of falls. For foot pain and the risk of falls, gait speed cut-off values were 0.88 m/s and 0.85 m/s (area under the curve = 0.80 and 0.83, standard error = 0.043 and 0.043, p < 0.001). Sensitivity for foot pain and the risk of falls was 66.20% and 85.90% and specificity was 84.80% and 69.00%. Slower gait speed was associated with higher prevalence of foot pain (OR = 10.92, 95% CI 4.28 to 27.89, p < 0.001) and higher risk of falls (OR = 13.59, 95% CI 5.45 to 33.87, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Proposed gait speed values of 0.88 m/s and 0.85 m/s may be used in clinical settings to predict foot pain and the risk of falls among community-dwelling older women.

Keywords: velocity, discomfort, elderly, risk, falls

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]