Wheelchair-Related Falls in Veterans With Spinal Cord Injury Residing in the Community: A Prospective Cohort StudyBy Nelson, Audrey L.; Groer, Shirley; Palacios, Polly; Mitchell, Douglas; Sabharwal, Sunil; Kirby, R. Lee; Gavin-Dreschnack, Deborah; Powell-Cope, Gail; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 91, No. 8, pp. 1166-1173
Publication Date: August 2010
Study undertaken to determine the incidence of wheelchair falls and fall related injuries in community dwelling persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and to predict wheelchair related falls and associated injuries from specific parameters. Participants were 702 individuals with SCI who resided in the community and used a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility. Data were collected through surveys, interviews, performance testing, observation, and medical records. Parameters used to predict falls and related injuries included characteristics of the wheelchair user, wheelchair type and features, health care practices, wheelchair activities, and physical environment. Of the 659 participants who completed the study, 204, or 31 percent, reported 553 fall events, and 95 participants, or 14 percent, were injured as a result of wheelchair falls. A logistic regression model for predicting wheelchair falls identified 6 significant risk factors explaining 82 percent of the variance for wheelchair fall events: pain in previous 2 months, alcohol abuse, greater motor function, history of previous fall, fewer years with SCI, and shorter length of wheelchair. A similar model for predicting injurious falls identified 4 significant risk factors: pain in previous 2 months, greater motor function, history of previous fall, and inaccessible home entrance, explaining 81 percent of the variance for injurious falls. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: W.B. Saunders Company, a division of Elsevier Health Sciences (Website:http://us.elsevierhealth.com)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.aapmr.org/ )
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.acrm.org )