Fall experiences of persons with fibromyalgia over 6 months
Article first published online: 2 MAY 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 69, Issue 2, pages 435–448, February 2013
How to Cite
Rutledge, D. N., Martinez, A., Traska, T. K. and Rose, D. J. (2013), Fall experiences of persons with fibromyalgia over 6 months. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69: 435–448. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06026.x
- Issue published online: 13 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 2 MAY 2012
- Accepted for publication 31 March 2012
- accidental falls;
- chronic pain;
- postural balance;
- quality of life
rutledge d.n., martinez a., traska t.k. & rose d.j. (2012) Fall experiences of persons with fibromyalgia over 6 months. Journal of Advanced Nursing69(2), 435–448. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06026.x
Aims. To describe circumstances and consequences of falls occurring among persons with fibromyalgia who had recent falls.
Background. Fibromyalgia is a common widespread pain condition that has been linked to increased fall-risk. No published research described experiences of falling in persons with fibromyalgia. Prior to development of fall-risk reduction interventions, it is essential to understand the context of falls and fall experiences in persons with fibromyalgia.
Design. Descriptive longitudinal study.
Methods. The study took place during 2009; data were collected via fall diaries and interviews in 18 US women ages 21–69 years.
Results. Over 6 months, 17 of 18 participants fell or had a near-fall. For the 15 women with 6-month fall-prevalence data, median number of falls was 2, with 3 near-falls. Most fall experiences contained intrinsic and extrinsic contributory factors. Participants reported engaging in various activities prior to falls/near-falls. A substantial minority (32–48%) experienced severe symptoms (pain, fatigue, stiffness) at the time. Most falls/near-falls occurred in homes during the day; one resulted in injury. Themes that were identified included the following: always being careful or generally cautious; fear of losing control of one’s body, especially related to balance; desire to continue activities counterbalanced with frustration at not being able to because of fear of falling; perception of having become clumsy.
Conclusions. Nurses caring for persons with fibromyalgia should assess for potential fall-risk factors and offer plans for individualized fall-prevention strategies.