Falls Are Associated With Lower Self-Reported Functional Status in Patients After Stroke

Eline van der Kooi, Sven Kersten Schiemanck, Frans Nollet, Gert Kwakkel, Jan Willem Meijer, Ingrid van de Port*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To evaluate the association between falls and functional status after stroke. Design Secondary analysis of data from the randomized controlled FIT-Stroke trial. Outcomes were measured at the time of discharge from inpatient rehabilitation (t0) and after 12 weeks (t1). Between t0 and t1, all patients attended an outpatient rehabilitation program that included the FIT-Stroke intervention. Setting Nine centers for rehabilitation medicine. Participants Outpatients after stroke (N=250) with mild cognitive impairments (Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] score ≥24), discharged home after inpatient rehabilitation and able to walk 10m independently. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures The primary outcome was the change in Stroke Impact Scale (SIS)-16 score. The independent variable was ≥1 falls after stroke. The outcome was corrected for type of outpatient rehabilitation (group allocation), severity of hemiplegia (Motricity Index [MI]), and cognition (MMSE) at baseline using multiple regression analysis. Results Complete data were available for 199 patients, with a mean age of 58±10 years, MMSE score of 28.1±2, and MI score of 130±43. Fifty-five patients (28%) reported falls during the 12 weeks after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Falls were significantly associated with less improvement in functional status as assessed with the SIS-16 (P=.009). Conclusions Almost 30% of this stroke population with minor cognitive deficits and moderate to high mobility scores reported falls during the 12 weeks of outpatient rehabilitation. Falls were negatively associated with self-reported functional status measured by the change in SIS-16 score. Therefore, it is important to identify patients with high risk of falls and implement strategies to reduce falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2393-2398
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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