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Table of Contents
Vol. 52, No. 1, 2006
Issue release date: January 2006
Section title: Review
Gerontology 2006;52:1–16
(DOI:10.1159/000089820)

Force Platform Measurements as Predictors of Falls among Older People – A Review

Piirtola M.a · Era P.b
aDepartment of Family Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Satakunta Central Hospital, Pori; Härkätie Health Centre, Lieto; bMetitur Oy and Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review

Received: August 18, 2005
Accepted: September 20, 2005
Published online: January 27, 2006
Issue release date: January 2006

Number of Print Pages: 16
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Background: Poor postural balance is one of the major risk factors for falling. A great number of reports have analyzed the risk factors and predictors of falls but the results have for the most part been unclear and partly contradictory. Objective data on these matters are thus urgently needed. The force platform technique has widely been used as a tool to assess balance. However, the ability of force platform measures to predict falls remains unknown. Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to extract and critically review the findings of prospective studies where force platform measurements have been used as predictors of falls among elderly populations. Methods: The study was done as a systematic literature review. PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL databases from 1950 to April 2005 were used. The review includes prospective follow-up studies using the force platform as a tool to measure postural balance. Results: Nine original prospective studies were included in the final analyses. In five studies fall-related outcomes were associated with some force platform measures and in the remaining four studies associations were not found. For the various parameters derived on the basis of the force platform data, the mean speed of the mediolateral (ML) movement of the center of pressure (COP) during normal standing with the eyes open and closed, the mean amplitude of the ML movement of the COP with the eyes open and closed, and the root-mean-square value of the ML displacement of COP were the indicators that showed significant associations with future falls. Measures related to dynamic posturography (moving platforms) were not predictive of falls. Conclusion: Despite a wide search only a few prospective follow-up studies using the force platform technique to measure postural balance and a reliable registration of subsequent falls were found. The results suggest that certain aspects of force platform data may have predictive value for subsequent falls, especially various indicators of the lateral control of posture. However, the small number of studies available makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.

© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review

Received: August 18, 2005
Accepted: September 20, 2005
Published online: January 27, 2006
Issue release date: January 2006

Number of Print Pages: 16
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.