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Concern about falls elicits changes in gait parameters in conditions of postural threat in older people

Kim Delbaere UGent, Daina L Sturnieks, Geert Crombez UGent and Stephen R Lord (2009) JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES. 64(2). p.237-242
abstract
Background. Previous studies have indicated that gait patterns in older people may be affected by concern about falling. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of concern about falling and physiological falls risk on gait performance using a paradigm in which concern about falling was experimentally induced. Methods. Forty-four community-living older adults (17 men, 27 women) with a mean age of 76.8 (standard deviation = 5.2) years walked at self-selected speeds on the floor and on a 60-cm elevated walkway in normal and dim lighting conditions. Temporal and spatial gait parameters, muscle activity, measures of physiological arousal, physiological falls risk, and concern about falls were assessed. Results. Physiological falls risk was associated with slower walking speeds in all conditions including the optimal (floor) condition (p = .029). In the elevated walkway conditions, concern about falls (both self-report and as indicated by physiological arousal) was increased and participants walked more slowly, took shorter steps, decreased their cadence, and spent more time in double support (p <.005). Disproportionately large reductions in walking speed were evident in participants with greater concern about falling (p = .018). Conclusions. These findings suggest that walking performance is influenced by both physiological and psychological factors. Physiological falls risk appears to determine walking speed under optimal conditions, whereas concern about falling elicits greater (possibly excessive) gait adjustments under conditions of postural threat.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
INSTABILITY, KINEMATICS, ANXIETY, AGE, ADULTS, FEAR, CAUTIOUS GAIT, Behavior OBSTACLE NEGOTIATION, Walking, Elderly, Aging, Fear of falling, STABILITY, YOUNGER
journal title
JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES
J. Gerontol. Ser. A-Biol. Sci. Med. Sci.
volume
64
issue
2
pages
237 - 242
Web of Science type
article
Web of Science id
000264190400020
JCR category
GERONTOLOGY
JCR impact factor
3.083 (2009)
JCR rank
3/25 (2009)
JCR quartile
1 (2009)
ISSN
1079-5006
DOI
10.1093/gerona/gln014
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
691016
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-691016
date created
2009-06-11 14:48:57
date last changed
2010-08-09 15:09:15
@article{691016,
  abstract     = {Background. Previous studies have indicated that gait patterns in older people may be affected by concern about falling. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of concern about falling and physiological falls risk on gait performance using a paradigm in which concern about falling was experimentally induced.
Methods. Forty-four community-living older adults (17 men, 27 women) with a mean age of 76.8 (standard deviation = 5.2) years walked at self-selected speeds on the floor and on a 60-cm elevated walkway in normal and dim lighting conditions. Temporal and spatial gait parameters, muscle activity, measures of physiological arousal, physiological falls risk, and concern about falls were assessed.
Results. Physiological falls risk was associated with slower walking speeds in all conditions including the optimal (floor) condition (p = .029). In the elevated walkway conditions, concern about falls (both self-report and as indicated by physiological arousal) was increased and participants walked more slowly, took shorter steps, decreased their cadence, and spent more time in double support (p {\textlangle}.005). Disproportionately large reductions in walking speed were evident in participants with greater concern about falling (p = .018).
Conclusions. These findings suggest that walking performance is influenced by both physiological and psychological factors. Physiological falls risk appears to determine walking speed under optimal conditions, whereas concern about falling elicits greater (possibly excessive) gait adjustments under conditions of postural threat.},
  author       = {Delbaere, Kim and Sturnieks, Daina L and Crombez, Geert and Lord, Stephen R},
  issn         = {1079-5006},
  journal      = {JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES},
  keyword      = {INSTABILITY,KINEMATICS,ANXIETY,AGE,ADULTS,FEAR,CAUTIOUS GAIT,Behavior OBSTACLE NEGOTIATION,Walking,Elderly,Aging,Fear of falling,STABILITY,YOUNGER},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {237--242},
  title        = {Concern about falls elicits changes in gait parameters in conditions of postural threat in older people},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/gln014},
  volume       = {64},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Delbaere, Kim, Daina L Sturnieks, Geert Crombez, and Stephen R Lord. 2009. “Concern About Falls Elicits Changes in Gait Parameters in Conditions of Postural Threat in Older People.” Journals of Gerontology Series A-biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 64 (2): 237–242.
APA
Delbaere, K., Sturnieks, D. L., Crombez, G., & Lord, S. R. (2009). Concern about falls elicits changes in gait parameters in conditions of postural threat in older people. JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES, 64(2), 237–242.
Vancouver
1.
Delbaere K, Sturnieks DL, Crombez G, Lord SR. Concern about falls elicits changes in gait parameters in conditions of postural threat in older people. JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES. 2009;64(2):237–42.
MLA
Delbaere, Kim, Daina L Sturnieks, Geert Crombez, et al. “Concern About Falls Elicits Changes in Gait Parameters in Conditions of Postural Threat in Older People.” JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES 64.2 (2009): 237–242. Print.