The study organized the complex interactions of fall history and prosthetic mobility in community-ambulating people with lower-limb amputations by recording self-reported fall rates and fall circumstances in a cross-section of people with unilateral lower-limb amputations due to nondysvascular causes.
Self-report and performance-based standardized outcome measures assessed prosthetic mobility and balance confidence. The research team considered all variables and placed them within a proposed International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework while using a fall-type classification framework to classify fall circumstances.
Information from 69 participants was analyzed. The reported fall rate was 46 percent, with those with transfemoral amputation reporting significantly more falls than those with transtibial amputation. Tripping over an object was the most common cause (62.5 percent), and fallers reported significantly lower perceived prosthetic mobility than nonfallers.
Despite reporting high levels of balance confidence, results indicate that all groups of fallers and nonfallers are at increased fall risk according to performance-based prosthetic mobility score cutoffs.
Clemens et al. found that community-dwelling people with nondysvascular lower-limb amputations are at increased fall risk. “Classifying fall-related variables using theoretical frameworks provides a means to structure more informative fall risk surveys for people with lower-limb amputations in an attempt to identify those at greater risk for falling and its potential detrimental effects,” they concluded.
The study, “Using theoretical frameworks to examine fall history and associated prosthetic mobility in people with nondysvascular lower limb amputation,” was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.