Background Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent chronic degenerative joint disease in the elderly population. The main signs and clinical symptoms of this disease are pain, edema, stiffness, and articular instability. OA is considered to be an intrinsic risk factor for the occurrence of falls. Falls constitute as one of the major public health concerns. They frequently have a negative impact on the daily life of elderly people and could lead an increase of dependence, fear of new falls, fractures, immobility and death.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to compare physical performance and gait speed among older people with knee osteoarthritis with and without a history of falls.
Methods The community-dwelling older people (65 and older) were recruited from different social senior groups and from the Hacettepe University Hospital Geriatric Outpatient Clinic. 102 patients were screened and 62 subjects with unilateral knee OA were evaluated. We used a standardized questionnaire, consisting of sociodemographic datas, cognitive function, and history of falls during the previous year. Thirty one elderly with a history of falls and also 31 without a history of falls were studied. Physical performance was evaluated with Short Physical Performance Test (SPPT). Walking speeds were measured with Six Metre Walk Test. Fear of falling (FOF) was assessed by a question (Do you have fear of falling? yes/no)
Results There were no differences between faller and non-faller elderly people in terms of age (76±8,4 years) and BMI (30,4±3,1 kg/m2). A statistically significant difference was found in terms of walking speeds and short physical performance test (p<0,005, p<0,005).
Conclusions As a result of this study, it was shown that the elderly people with knee OA and who have history of falls present worse performance in functional mobility and require a longer period of time to walking.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared