Do clinical assessments, steady-state or daily-life gait characteristics predict falls in ambulatory chronic stroke survivors?

Authors Michiel Punt , Sjoerd M. Bruijn , Harriët Wittink , Ingrid G. van de Port , Jaap H. van Dieën
Published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Publication date 2017
Research groups Lifestyle and Health
Type Article


Objective: This exploratory study investigated to what extent gait characteristics and clinical physical therapy assessments predict falls in chronic stroke survivors. Design: Prospective study. Subjects: Chronic fall-prone and non-fall-prone stroke survivors. Methods: Steady-state gait characteristics were collected from 40 participants while walking on a treadmill with motion capture of spatio-temporal, variability, and stability measures. An accelerometer was used to collect daily-life gait characteristics during 7 days. Six physical and psychological assessments were administered. Fall events were determined using a “fall calendar” and monthly phone calls over a 6-month period. After data reduction through principal component analysis, the predictive capacity of each method was determined by logistic regression. Results: Thirty-eight percent of the participants were classified as fallers. Laboratory-based and daily-life gait characteristics predicted falls acceptably well, with an area under the curve of, 0.73 and 0.72, respectively, while fall predictions from clinical assessments were limited (0.64). Conclusion: Independent of the type of gait assessment, qualitative gait characteristics are better fall predictors than clinical assessments. Clinicians should therefore consider gait analyses as an alternative for identifying fall-prone stroke survivors.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Year and volume 49 5
Key words vallen, beroerte, accelerometrie
Page range 402-409

Michiel Punt

Michiel Punt | Researcher | Research group Lifestyle and Health

Michiel Punt

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Lifestyle and Health