Can gait speed test be used as a falls risk screening tool in community dwelling older adults? A review

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Abstract

Introduction Gait speed is a simple and easy to perform outcome measure that does not require expensive equipment or complex instructions. However, whether gait speed test can be used as a falls risk screening tool among community dwelling older adults is still unclear. Aim The objective of this review was to summarize the evidence on gait speed as a falls risk screening tool among community dwelling older adults. Material and methods Articles were searched from two electronic databases, reference lists of studies and reviewed articles. Five articles met the criteria for review. Results and discussion Based on the review performed, it was concluded that there is no consensus whether gait speed can be used to identify fallers and non-fallers among community dwelling older adults. The discrimination and predictive validity of gait speed as a tool to identify the risk of falls is not available. However, risk of falls have been categorized into four categories based on gait speed. The categories were 1.3 m/s as fast performance walker. Majority of authors have reported high risk of falls among groups with gait speed that ranged 0.6-1.0 m/s. This suggests that decreased gait speed among older adults would likely increase the probability of falls risk. Conclusions The discrimination and predictive validity of gait speed test as a tool to identify the risk of falls among community dwelling older adults is yet to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalPolish Annals of Medicine
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

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Independent Living
Walking Speed
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Databases
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • Community dwelling older adults
  • Falls risk screening tools
  • Gait speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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title = "Can gait speed test be used as a falls risk screening tool in community dwelling older adults? A review",
abstract = "Introduction Gait speed is a simple and easy to perform outcome measure that does not require expensive equipment or complex instructions. However, whether gait speed test can be used as a falls risk screening tool among community dwelling older adults is still unclear. Aim The objective of this review was to summarize the evidence on gait speed as a falls risk screening tool among community dwelling older adults. Material and methods Articles were searched from two electronic databases, reference lists of studies and reviewed articles. Five articles met the criteria for review. Results and discussion Based on the review performed, it was concluded that there is no consensus whether gait speed can be used to identify fallers and non-fallers among community dwelling older adults. The discrimination and predictive validity of gait speed as a tool to identify the risk of falls is not available. However, risk of falls have been categorized into four categories based on gait speed. The categories were 1.3 m/s as fast performance walker. Majority of authors have reported high risk of falls among groups with gait speed that ranged 0.6-1.0 m/s. This suggests that decreased gait speed among older adults would likely increase the probability of falls risk. Conclusions The discrimination and predictive validity of gait speed test as a tool to identify the risk of falls among community dwelling older adults is yet to be established.",
keywords = "Community dwelling older adults, Falls risk screening tools, Gait speed",
author = "{Abu Samah}, Zunaidah and {Mohd Nordin}, {Nor Azlin} and Suzana Shahar and {Ajit Singh}, {Devinder Kaur}",
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AB - Introduction Gait speed is a simple and easy to perform outcome measure that does not require expensive equipment or complex instructions. However, whether gait speed test can be used as a falls risk screening tool among community dwelling older adults is still unclear. Aim The objective of this review was to summarize the evidence on gait speed as a falls risk screening tool among community dwelling older adults. Material and methods Articles were searched from two electronic databases, reference lists of studies and reviewed articles. Five articles met the criteria for review. Results and discussion Based on the review performed, it was concluded that there is no consensus whether gait speed can be used to identify fallers and non-fallers among community dwelling older adults. The discrimination and predictive validity of gait speed as a tool to identify the risk of falls is not available. However, risk of falls have been categorized into four categories based on gait speed. The categories were 1.3 m/s as fast performance walker. Majority of authors have reported high risk of falls among groups with gait speed that ranged 0.6-1.0 m/s. This suggests that decreased gait speed among older adults would likely increase the probability of falls risk. Conclusions The discrimination and predictive validity of gait speed test as a tool to identify the risk of falls among community dwelling older adults is yet to be established.

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