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High incidence of falls and fall-related injuries in wheelchair users with spinal cord injury: A prospective study of risk indicators.

Journal article
Authors Emelie Butler Forslund
Vivien Jørgensen
Erika Franzén
Arve Opheim
Åke Seiger
Agneta Ståhle
Claes Hultling
Johan K Stanghelle
Kirsti Skavberg Roaldsen
Kerstin Wahman
Published in Journal of rehabilitation medicine
Volume 49
Issue 2
Pages 144-151
ISSN 1651-2081
Publication year 2017
Published at
Pages 144-151
Language en
Keywords Aged, Female, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Risk Factors, Spinal Cord Injuries, epidemiology, rehabilitation, Wheelchairs, adverse effects
Subject categories Other Health Sciences, Physiotherapy, Neurology


To identify risk indicators for, and incidence of, recurrent falls and fall-related injuries in wheelchair users with traumatic spinal cord injury.Prospective multi-centre study.One hundred and forty-nine wheelchair users with spinal cord injury attending follow-up in Sweden and Norway.Inclusion criteria: wheelchair users ≥ 18 years old with traumatic spinal cord injury ≥ 1 year post-injury.individuals with motor complete injuries above C5. Falls were prospectively reported by text message every second week for one year and were followed-up by telephone interviews. Outcomes were: fall incidence, risk indicators for recurrent (> 2) falls and fall-related injuries. Independent variables were: demographic data, quality of life, risk willingness, functional independence, and exercise habits.Of the total sample (n = 149), 96 (64%) participants fell, 45 (32%) fell recurrently, 50 (34%) were injured, and 7 (5%) severely injured. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that reporting recurrent falls the previous year increased the odds ratio (OR) of recurrent falls (OR 10.2, p < 0.001). Higher quality of life reduced the OR of fall-related injuries (OR 0.86, p = 0.037).Previous recurrent falls was a strong predictor of future falls. The incidence of falls, recurrent falls and fall-related injuries was high. Hence, prevention of falls and fall-related injuries is important.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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