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Evaluating the discriminatory power of the velocity field diagram and timed-up-and-go test in determining the fall status of community-dwelling older adults: a cross-sectional observational study

  • Background Systematic reviews demonstrated that gait variables are the most reliable predictors of future falls, yet are rarely included in fall screening tools. Thus, most tools have higher specificity than sensitivity, hence may be misleading/detrimental to care. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the validity, and reliability of the velocity field diagram (VFD -a gait analytical tool), and the Timed-up-and-go test (TUG)-commonly used in Nigeria as fall screening tools, compared to a gold standard (known fallers) among community-dwelling older adults. Method This is a cross-sectional observational study of 500 older adults (280 fallers and 220 non-fallers), recruited by convenience sampling technique at community health fora on fall prevention. Participants completed a 7-m distance with the number of steps and time it took determined and used to compute the stride length, stride frequency, and velocity, which regression lines formed the VFD. TUG test was simultaneously conducted to discriminate fallers from non-fallers. The cut-off points for falls were: TUG times ≥ 13.5 s; VFD’s intersection point of the stride frequency, and velocity regression lines (E1) ≥ 3.5velots. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curves (AUC) was used to explore the ability of the E1 ≥ 3.5velots to discriminate between fallers and non-fallers. The VFD’s and TUG’s sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were determined. Alpha was set at p < 0.05. Results The VFD versus TUG sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV were 71%, 27%, 55%, and 42%, versus 39%, 59%, 55%, and 43%, respectively. The ROC’s AUC were 0.74(95%CI:0.597,0.882, p = 0.001) for the VFD. The optimal categorizations for discrimination between fallers/non-fallers were ≥ 3.78 versus ≤ 3.78 for VFD (fallers versus non-fallers prevalence is 60.71% versus 95.45%, respectively), with a classification accuracy or prediction rate of 0.76 unlike TUG with AUC = 0.53 (95% CI:0.353,0.700, p = 0.762), and a classification accuracy of 0.68, and optimal characterization of ≥ 12.81 s versus ≤ 12.81 (fallers and non-fallers prevalence = 92.86% versus 36.36%, respectively). Conclusion The VFD demonstrated a fair discriminatory power and greater reliability in identifying fallers than the TUG, and therefore, could replace the TUG as a primary tool in screening those at risk of falls.

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Author:Sam Chidi IbenemeORCiD, Joy Chinyere Eze, Uchenna Prosper Okonkwo, Georgian Chiaka IbenemeORCiD, Gerhard FortwengelORCiDGND
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-022-03282-2
Parent Title (English):BMC Geriatrics
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2022
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2022/09/19
Tag:Community-dwelling older adults; Discriminatory power; Falls; Reliability; Timed-up-and-go test; Validity; Velocity field diagram
GND Keyword:Älterer Mensch; Sturz
Article Number:658
Page Number:19
Link to catalogue:1821536606
Institutes:Fakultät III - Medien, Information und Design
DDC classes:610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International