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