Document Detail


Transitioning to a narrow path: the impact of fear of falling in older adults.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21944475     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
BACKGROUND: Everyday ambulation requires navigation of variable terrain, transitions from wide to narrow pathways, and avoiding obstacles. While the effect of age on the transition to a narrow path has been examined briefly, little is known about the impact of fear of falling on gait during the transition to a narrow path. The purpose was to examine the effect of age and fear of falling on gait during transition to a narrow path.
METHODS: In 31 young, mean age=25.3 years, and 30 older adults, mean age=79.6 years, step length, step time, step width and gait speed were examined during usual and transition to narrow pathway using an instrumented walkway.
FINDINGS: During the transition to narrow walk condition, fearful older adults compared to young had a wider step width (0.06 m vs 0.04 m) prior to the narrow path and took shorter steps (0.53 m vs 0.72 m; p<0.001). Compared to non-fearful older adults, fearful older adults walked slower and took shorter steps during narrow path walking (gait speed: 1.1m/s vs 0.82 m/s; p=0.01; step length: 0.60 m vs 0.47 m; p=0.03). In young and non-fearful older adults narrow path gait was similar to usual gait. Whereas older adults who were fearful, walked slower (0.82 m/s vs 0.91 m/s; p=0.001) and took shorter steps (0.44 m vs 0.53 m; p=0.004) during narrow path walking compared to usual walking.
INTERPRETATION: Changes in gait characteristics with transitioning to a narrow pathway were greater for fear of falling than for age.
Authors:
Pamela Dunlap; Subashan Perera; Jessie M VanSwearingen; David Wert; Jennifer S Brach
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-09-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Gait & posture     Volume:  35     ISSN:  1879-2219     ISO Abbreviation:  Gait Posture     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-20     Completed Date:  2012-05-21     Revised Date:  2013-10-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9416830     Medline TA:  Gait Posture     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  92-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Accidental Falls*
Adult
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Fear*
Female
Gait / physiology*
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Walking / physiology*
Young Adult
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
5TL1RR024155-03/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; K23 AG026766/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG026766-05/AG/NIA NIH HHS; P30 AG024827/AG/NIA NIH HHS; P30 AG024827/AG/NIA NIH HHS; P30 AG024827-09/AG/NIA NIH HHS; TL1 RR024155/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; TL1 RR024155-03/RR/NCRR NIH HHS
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