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Keywords:

  • accidental falls;
  • falls prevention;
  • rehabilitation;
  • stroke

Falls are common at all stages after stroke, occurring in the acute, rehabilitative, and chronic phases. Consequences of falls include death or serious injury, minor injuries, functional limitations, reduced mobility and activity, and fear of falling. These consequences can have implications for independence and quality of life after stroke. The high frequency of falls may be due to a combination of existing falls risk factors prior to the stroke as well as impairments from the stroke, such as decreased strength and balance, hemineglect, perceptual problems, and visual problems. This paper reviews the magnitude of the problem of falls in people with stroke, highlights risk factors, and summarizes the limited randomized controlled trial evidence on falls prevention in this population. There is a need for further high quality research investigating the effectiveness of interventions to reduce falls and injury in people with stroke from onset through to the chronic stage.