Background Fear of falling, foot pain and functional disability are commonly reported in rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, the relationship between the fear of falling and foot pain, impairment and disability has rarely been studied.
Objectives To evaluate the relationship between fear of falling and foot pain, impairment and disability in patients with established RA.
Methods A cross-sectional study that included patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We collected the following data: age, sex, duration of disease, foot pain assessed by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Disease activity assessed by DAS 28, HAQ disability index (HAQ-DI). Fear of falling was assessed by Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) which consists of 16 different activities, scored using a four point scale (1=not at all concerned, 2=somewhat concerned, 3=fairly concerned and 4=very concerned). The summed scores for the 16 activities for each participant were calculated. Scores of ≥23 indicated a significant fear of falling. Foot disability and impairment were measured using the Leeds Foot Impact Scale (LFIS), Foot disability was represented by the total score (LFIST; range 0 to 51) of the LFIS and foot impairment by the first subscale (LFISIF; range 0 to 21). Correlations were used to assess the relationship between fear of falling and foot pain, impairment and disability.
Results Thirty-three patients were included. The mean age was 49.3±10.5 years with female predominance (n=29 (87.9%)). The mean disease duration was 9.9±7.5 years. The mean HAQ-DI was 1.3±0.8. The mean DAS28 score was 5.5±1.3 and the mean EVA foot pain was 5.5±2.4. The mean FES-I score was 37.4±15.1 and 69.7% (n=23) of patients had a significant fear of falling. Positive correlations were found between fear of falling and foot impairment (r=0.66; p<0.0001) and disability (r=0.80; p<0.0001). No correlation was found between fear of falling and foot pain (r =0.29, p=0.07).
Conclusions The results of this study have demonstrated the importance of the relationship between fear of falling and foot impairment and disability.
Disclosure of Interest None declared