Daily Activities with High Fall Risk Identified for Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

May 27, 2016

ALTC Editors


Annals of Long-Term Care: Clinical Care and Aging. 2016;24(5):36.

Although the strongest predictor of falling in patients with Parkinson’s Disease is the number of falls in the preceding year, little information is available on what types of activities of daily life (ADLs) are associated with a significant fall risk in this population.

Using the 16-item Activities-Specific-Balance Confidence Scale (ABC-16), researchers from Thailand found that patients with PD had the lowest confidence score when walking on slippery sidewalks, followed by getting in and out of a car, standing on a chair to reach something, and picking up things on the floor. Their findings were published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences (2016;364:183-187).

A total of 160 patients with PD were compared with 52 age-matched, healthy individuals for the study, with the number of falls during the past month being obtained from both groups. The results showed that PD patients reported lower confidence in their ability to maintain balance during ADLs compared with controls (P < .001). A significant negative correlation was observed between the number of falls in the previous month and the mean ABC-16 score (r, −0.387; P < .001). Researchers noted that the high-risk activities identified all involved movement in the vertical orientation.

Chayanin Foongsathaporn (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand) and colleagues concluded that, in patients with PD who may have postural instability and visual impairment, high-risk activities should be minimized, avoided, or performed only under supervision. They also recommended that fall prevention strategies include physical therapy interventions that are targeted at these activities.—Amanda Del Signore