Longitudinal evaluation of injurious falls and fall prevention strategy use among people with multiple sclerosis

Elizabeth W. Peterson, Miho Asano, Marcia L. Finlayson, Michelle H. Cameron


Falls among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are often injurious. We conducted a prospective cohort study using data collectedat baseline, 12 months and 24 months to investigate the prevalence of self-reported injurious falls and trends in fall preventionstrategy use among people with MS over this period. Fifty-eight community-dwelling people with MS between the ages of18 and 50 years, with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores < 6.0, were recruited. Measures included self reportedinjurious falls in the past year and scores on the Fall Prevention Strategies Survey (FPSS). A total of 43 subjects completed thestudy. Prevalence of self-reported injurious falls was 40%, 35%, and 16% respectively at each time point. Seventy-one percent ofsubjects reporting injurious falls at baseline (12/17) also reported injurious falls at 12 and/or 24 months. Subjects were dividedinto three subgroups for further analysis: subjects reporting injurious falls at baseline (N = 17); subjects reporting no injuriousfalls at baseline but subsequent injurious falls (N = 8), and subjects reporting no injurious falls over the 24-months (N = 18). That analysis revealed variations in injurious fall experiences and fall prevention strategy use by subgroup. FPSS scores for eachsubgroup improved at 24-months compared to baseline. Subgroup analyses yielded insights into sources of variation in injuriousfall rates. Findings point to the potential value of using: a) self-reported history of injurious falls to predict future injuriousfalls; and b) brief interventions to motivate engagement in fall prevention behaviors. Additional studies are needed to test thesehypotheses.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jer.v2n2p9


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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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