Multiple sclerosis severity and concern about falling : Physical, cognitive and psychological mediating factors

Journal article


Vliet, Rob van, Phu, Hoanga, Lord, Stephen, Gandevia, Simon and Delbaere, Kim. (2015). Multiple sclerosis severity and concern about falling : Physical, cognitive and psychological mediating factors. NeuroRehabilitation. 37(1), pp. 139-147. https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-151246
AuthorsVliet, Rob van, Phu, Hoanga, Lord, Stephen, Gandevia, Simon and Delbaere, Kim
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Concern about falling can have devastating physical and psychological consequences in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, little is known about physical and cognitive determinants for increased concern about falling inthis group.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate direct and indirect relationships between MS severity and concern about falling using structural equation modelling (SEM). METHODS: Two hundred and ten community-dwelling people (21–73 years) with MS Disease Steps 0–5 completed several physical, cognitive and psychological assessments. Concern about falling was assessed using the Falls Efficacy Scale-International.

RESULTS: Concern about falling was significantly associated with MS Disease Step and also balance, muscle strength, disability, previous falls, and executive functioning. SEM revealed a strong direct path between MS Disease Step and concern about falling (r = 0.31, p <  0.01), as well as indirect paths explained by impaired physical ability (r = 0.25, p <  0.01) and reduced cognitive function (r = 0.13, p <  0.01). The final model explained 51% of the variance of concern about falling in people with MS and had an excellent goodness-of-fit.

CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between MS severity and increased concern about falling was primarily mediated by reduced physical ability (especially if this resulted in disability and falls) and less so by executive functioning. This suggests people with MS have a realistic appraisal of their concern about falling.

Keywordsaccidental falls; multiple sclerosis; anxiety; depression; disease progression; activity avoidance
Year2015
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Journal citation37 (1), pp. 139-147
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN1053-8135
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-151246
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84940510271
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range139-147
FunderNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2015
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