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Vol. 52, No. 3, 2006
Issue release date: April 2006
Section title: Clinical Section
Gerontology 2006;52:174–180
(DOI:10.1159/000091827)

Footwear Characteristics and Risk of Indoor and Outdoor Falls in Older People

Menz H.B.a · Morris M.E.b · Lord S.R.c
aMusculoskeletal Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, bSchool of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, and

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: 10/28/2005
Accepted: 12/21/2005
Published online: 4/27/2006
Issue release date: April 2006

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

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

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

Abstract

Background: Footwear characteristics have been shown to influence balance in older people; however, the relationship between footwear and falls is unclear. Objective: To determine the relationships between footwear characteristics and the risk of indoor and outdoor falls in older people. Methods: Footwear characteristics (shoe type, heel height, heel counter height, heel width, critical tipping angle, method of fixation, heel counter stiffness, sole rigidity and flexion point, tread pattern and sole hardness) were assessed in 176 people (56 men and 120 women) aged 62–96 (mean age 80.1, SD 6.4) residing in a retirement village. Falls were recorded over a 12-month follow-up period and comparisons made between fallers and non-fallers. Results: 50 participants (29%) fell indoors and 36 (21%) fell outdoors. After controlling for age, gender, demographic characteristics, medication use, physiological falls risk factors and foot problems, those who fell indoors were more likely to go barefoot or wear socks inside the home (OR = 13.74; 95% CI 3.88–48.61, p < 0.01). However, there were no significant differences in indoor or outdoor footwear characteristics between fallers and non-fallers. Five indoor fallers (10%) and three outdoor fallers (8%) stated that their shoes contributed to their fall. Conclusion: Footwear characteristics were not significantly associated with falls either inside or outside the home. Risk of falling indoors was associated with going barefoot or wearing socks. Older people at risk of falling should therefore be advised to wear shoes indoors where possible.

© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Dr. H.B. Menz
NHMRC Australian Clinical Research Fellow
Musculoskeletal Research Centre, School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences
La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086 (Australia)
Tel. +61 3 9479 5801, Fax +61 3 9479 5768, E-Mail h.menz@latrobe.edu.au

  

Article Information

Received: October 28, 2005
Accepted: December 21, 2005
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 25

  

Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical and Behavioural Gerontology)

Vol. 52, No. 3, Year 2006 (Cover Date: April 2006)

Journal Editor: Meier-Ruge, W. (Basel)
ISSN: 0304–324X (print), 1423–0003 (Online)

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


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: 10/28/2005
Accepted: 12/21/2005
Published online: 4/27/2006
Issue release date: April 2006

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

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

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


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