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Open Access Balance Ability Measured with the Berg Balance Scale: A Determinant of Fall History in Community-Dwelling Adults with Leg Amputation

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Objective: Falls are common among adults with leg amputations and associated with balance confidence. But subjective confidence is not equivalent with physical ability. This multivariate analyses of community-dwelling adults with leg amputations examined relationships among individual characteristics, falls, balance ability and balance confidence.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Subjects/Patients: Community-dwelling adults with leg amputations recruited from a support group and prosthetic clinic.

Methods: Subjects provided self-reported medical/fall history, prosthetic functional use, and Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) questionnaire data. Balance ability was assessed with the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). Fall incidence was categorized as any fall (one or more) and recurrent falls (more than one). Multivariate logistic regression analyzed relationships within the two fall categories. Cross tabulations and ANOVA analyzed differences among subcategories.

Results: Fifty-four subjects (mean age 56.8) with various etiologies, amputation levels, and balance abilities participated. 53.7% had any fall; 25.9% had recurrent falls. Models for both fall categories correctly classified fall history in > 70% of subjects with combinations of the variables ABC, BBS, body-mass-index, and amputation level.

Conclusion: Falls occurred regardless of clinical characteristics. Total BBS and select item scores were independent determinants of fall history. Unlike other balance-impaired populations, adults with leg amputation and better balance ability had greater odds of falling.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

    Since the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is an Open Access journal, the contents will no longer be provided via Ingenta Connect after December 31, 2020. To continue accessing the journal free of charge please go to
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