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Ricci G.,RSA Villa San Clemente Villasanta MB | Barrionuevo M.L.,RSA Villa San Clemente Villasanta MB | Bodini S.,RSA Villa San Clemente Villasanta MB | Cosso P.,RSA Villa San Clemente Villasanta MB | And 4 more authors.
Giornale di Gerontologia | Year: 2012

Introduction. Falls are the most frequent cause of injury-related morbidity andmortality in the elderly. The risk of falling exceeds 50% per year among Nursing Homes residents. Among fall risk factors difficulties with balance and gait impairment have a direct impact related to falls and are a potential cause of dependence. Aim of this study was to verify the possibility of identifying, in a population of institutionalized elderly, those at risk of falls, starting from the evaluation of balance and gait. Material and methods. Over a period of one year (from 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2009) we monitored the performance of balance and gait in one hundred and nine elderly living in Villa San Clemente, Villasanta (MB) (a 110 beds nursing home). The assessment of balance and gait was performed with the Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment evaluated at baseline and every four months. The multidimensional assessment, included cognitive assessment (Mini Mental State Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating), neuropsychological assessment (Neuropsychiatric Inventory) and autonomy in activities of daily living (Barthel Index). Diseases and drugs, the use of aids and restraints, considered risk factors for falling are also reported. Results. We divided the patients into three groups according to follow-up: Group A = 76 persons: no falls; Group B = 11 persons: one fall; Group C = 22: two falls or more. Conclusions. The POMA scores showed no difference during follow-up among subjects in group A and B, while subjects in group C showed significantly better performance in balance and gait. Balance and gait worsened in all groups during follow-up, but only balance worsens in a statistically significant way. Risk of falls is higher in the population with highest level of autonomy in gait and balance performed by POMA. POMA is a valid method to identify those at risk of falling, especially in case of recurrent falls.

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