Author(s): Peterson EW, Cho CC, von Koch L, Finlayson ML
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of, and risk factors for, receiving medical attention for a recent injurious fall among middle-aged and older adults who have multiple sclerosis (MS). DESIGN: Survey. SETTING: United States. PARTICIPANTS: Seven hundred people with MS, age 55 years or older and living in the United States, were randomly selected from the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis Registry and invited by mail to participate in the study. A total of 354 people, aged 55 to 94 years, completed the survey. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participant's self-report regarding receipt of medical care for a fall-related injury (received care within the past 6mo, >6mo ago, or never). RESULTS: More than 50\% of study participants reported injurious falls; 12\%, in the 6 months before the interview. Proportional odds models were used to identify factors associated with increased odds of receiving medical attention for a fall-related injury within the past 6 months. Compared with study participants who reported receiving medical attention for a fall-related injury more than 6 months ago or never, participants who reported receiving medical attention for a fall-related injury within the past 6 months were more likely to report fear of falling (odds ratio [OR]=1.94; 95\% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-2.96) and osteoporosis (OR=1.65; 95\% CI, 1.03-2.62). CONCLUSIONS: Injurious falls were commonly reported by survey participants. Findings suggest that management of fear of falling and osteoporosis are important components of comprehensive fall-injury prevention programs for people aging with MS.
This article was published in Arch Phys Med Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis