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
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
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
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