Factors associated with the risk of falls of nursing home residents aged 80 or older

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Alvarez-Barbosa, Francisco
del Pozo-Cruz, Borja
del Pozo-Cruz, Jesus
Alfonso-Rosa, Rosa M.
Sanudo Corrales, Borja
Rogers, Michael E.

Álvarez Barbosa, F., del Pozo-Cruz, B., del Pozo-Cruz, J., Alfonso-Rosa, R. M., Sañudo Corrales, B. and Rogers, M. E. (2016), Factors Associated with the Risk of Falls of Nursing Home Residents Aged 80 or Older. Rehabilitation Nursing, 41: 16–25


Background. Falls are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in older and represents one of the major and most costly public health problems worldwide.

Purpose. Evaluate the influences of lower limb muscle performance, static balance, functional independence and quality of life on fall risk as assessed with the timed up and go (TUG) test.

DesignCross-sectional study.

MethodsFifty-two residents aged 80 or older were assessed and distributed in one of the two study groups (no risk of falls; risk of falls) according to the time to complete the TUG test. A Kistler force platform and linear transducer was used to determinate lower limb muscle performance. Postural Stability (static balance) was measured by recording the center of pressure. The EuroQol-5 dimension was used to assess Health-related quality of life and the Barthel index was used to examine functional status. Student's t-test was performed to evaluate the differences between groups. Correlations between variables were analyzed using Spearman or Pearson coefficient. ROC (receiver operating charasteristic) analysis was used to determine the cut-off points related to a decrease in the risk of a fall.

Findings. Participants of no-fall risk group showed better lower limb performance, quality of life, and functional status. Cut-off points were determined for each outcome.

Conclusions. Risk of falls in nursing home residents over the age of 80 is associated with lower limb muscle performance, functional status, and quality of Life.

Clinical Relevance. Cut-off points can be used by clinicians when working toward fall prevention and could help in determining the optimal lower limb muscle performance level for preventing falls.

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