Conference Publication Details
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Barrett, A,O'Connor, M,Culhane, K,Finucane, AM,OLaighin, G,Lyons, D,
2008 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Vols 1-8
A footswitch evaluation of the gait of elderly fallers with and without a diagnosis of orthostatic hypotension and healthy elderly controls
2008
April
Published
1
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OLDER-ADULTS VARIABILITY PEOPLE RISK
5101
5104
Gait abnormalities are a recognised risk factor for falling in the elderly and variability in gait has been shown to be a measurable predictor of falls. We carried out a footswitch evaluation of the temporal parameters of gait of elderly fallers with a primary diagnosis of Orthostatic Hypotension, elderly fallers without a diagnosis of Orthostatic Hypotension and a control group of healthy elderly non-fallers. We hypothesized that elderly persons with Orthostatic Hypotension are falling purely as a consequence of their vascular abnormalities and are not failing for the same reasons as regular elderly fallers, including biomechanical irregularities. Therefore it was assumed that their gait pattern would not be similar to that of regular elderly fallers but instead would resemble that of healthy elderly non-fallers. Results show that elderly fallers with or without a diagnosis of Orthostatic Hypotension tend to spend more time in the stance phase of gait, possibly due to a fear of falling. Elderly fallers with a diagnosis of Orthostatic Hypotension have similar levels of gait variability as healthy elderly Controls. These are significantly less than elderly fallers without Orthostatic Hypotension. Therefore elderly fallers with a diagnosis of Orthostatic Hypotension may not be falling for the same reasons as regular elderly fallers.
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