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Fall frequency and risk factors in patients with Parkinson's disease in Belgrade, Serbia: A cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of the present study was to estimate fall frequency as well as demographic and clinical factors related to falling in a cohort of Serbian patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).

Method

The cross-sectional study comprised 300 consecutive patients recruited at the Neurology Clinic in Belgrade, Serbia, from August 2011 to December 2012. Data were acquired though detailed interviews, while a history of falling referred to the period of 6 months before testing. After a interview related to the circumstances of the last fall sustained by PD patients, the participants were evaluated with the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, the Hoehn and Yahr scale, the Falls Efficacy Scale and the Self-Assessment Disability Scale, New Freezing of Gait questionnaire for frequency and impact of freezing, and the Hamilton Depression and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.

Results

A total of 60% of individuals reported a fall in the 6-month period before testing. Multivariate regression showed that patients with PD who had a Self-Assessment Disability Scale score of ≥56 and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale total score of ≥69 were 2.04 and 3.32 times more likely to fall, respectively (95% CI 1.10–3.79, P = 0.023 for Self-Assessment Disability Scale and 95% CI 1.83–6.00, P = 0.001 for Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale). In contrast, a decrease of risk for falling by 57% was observed among those who practiced regular physical activity before the onset of PD (95% CI 0.23–0.80, P = 0.008).

Conclusion

There is a strong relationship between falling and self-perceived disability, whereas previous physical exercise had a protective effect. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2015; 15: 472–480.

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