Falls and fall-related injuries are important issue among polio survivors. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of, and consequences and factors associated with falls among Korean polio survivors. A total of 317 polio survivors participated in this study. All participants completed a questionnaire including fall history, symptoms related to postpolio syndrome and other information through a telephone interview. Among them, 80 participants visited our clinic for additional physical measurements and tests. Of the 317 respondents, 68.5% reported at least one fall in the past year. Of the fallers, 42.5% experienced at least one fall during one month. Most falls occurred during ambulation (76.6%), outside (75.2%) and by slipping down (29.7%). Of fallers, 45% reported any injuries caused by falls, and 23.3% reported fractures specifically. Female sex, old age, low bone mineral density, the presence of symptoms related to post-polio syndrome (PPS), poor balance confidence, short physical performance battery and weak muscle strength of knee extensor were not significantly associated with falls. Only leg-length discrepancy using spine-malleolar distance (SMD) was a significant factor associated with falls among Korean polio survivors. Our findings suggest that malalignment between the paralytic and non-paralytic limb length should be addressed in polio survivors for preventing falls.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
©2016 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.
- Accidental falls
- Postpoliomyelitis syndrome
- Risk factors