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Supplementary Material for: Gait Disorder among Elderly People, Psychomotor Disadaptation Syndrome: Post-Fall Syndrome, Risk Factors and Follow-Up – A Cohort Study of 70 Patients

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posted on 30.11.2020, 10:32 by Meyer M., Constancias F., Vogel T., Kaltenbach G., Schmitt E.
Introduction: Falls among older people are a major health issue and the first cause of accidental death after 75 years of age. Post-fall syndrome (PFS) is commonly known and yet poorly studied. Objective: Identify risk factors for PFS and do a follow-up 1 year later. Methods: We included all patients over 70 years of age hospitalized after suffering a fall in a case-control study, and then followed them in a cohort study. PFS was retained in case of functional mobility decline (transferring, walking) occurring following a fall in the absence of an acute neurological, orthopedic or rheumatic pathology directly responsible for the decline. The data initially collected were: clinical (anamnestic, emergency and departmental/ward evolution, medical history, lifestyle, treatments, clinical examination items); and imaging if the patient had been subjected to brain imaging in the last 3 years prior to inclusion. Regarding the follow-up at 1 year, we collected from the general physician the occurrence and the characteristics of new falls, functional mobility assessment, hospitalization and death. Results: Inclusion took place from March 29, 2016 to June 7, 2016 and follow-up until June 30, 2017. We included 70 patients. A total of 29 patients exhibited a PFS (41.4 %). Risk factors for PFS included age, walking disorder prior to the fall, the use of a walking aid prior to the fall, no unaccompanied outdoor walk in the week before the fall, visual impairment making close reading impossible, stiffness in ankle dorsiflexion, grip strength and the fear of falling. Among patients with PFS, 52.9% could still perform a transfer at 1 year and 64.7% could still walk against 80.7% and 85.2%, respectively, for patients without PFS. Conclusion: The study showed the existence of body functions/structure impairments and activity limitations prior to the fall among patients exhibiting a PFS. This suggests the existence of a pre-fall syndrome, i.e., a psychomotor disadaptation syndrome existing prior to the fall. Among the 8 risk factors, fear of falling, vision impairment and muscle strength could be targeted for improvement. The diagnosis of PFS could be a marker of loss of functional mobility at 1 year.