Predicting Falls in Elderly : A Comparison between Berg Balance Scale & Dynamic Gait Index
Introduction: In today's era, life expectancy has increased worldwide. Even in a country like India the concept of nuclear family has become popular and at times mandatory. The concept of nursing homes or old age homes is still not acceptable or affording. With this modernization and social changes in India, elderly people are forced to live independently if not throughout but at least for some time period. In such kind of society it is necessary for the elderly to be fit to remain independent. These changes have forced the society as a whole to ensure that falls decrease in elderly which otherwise can put social and economical burden on the society. So it is an important aspect for us as physiotherapists to stress upon evaluation of balance, which enables us to plan appropriate goals and the treatment plan for that particular individual and minimize the number of falls. Quite a few studies have been done regarding predicting falls in elderly using various outcome measures. A study has been conducted to find out the concurrent validity of DGI but there has been no study which has compared the efficacy of BBS and DGI to predict falls in elderly population Thus an attempt is made to compare the sensitivity and specificity of these two scales.
Aim&Objective: To compare the effectiveness of Berg Balance Scale and Dynamic Gait Index in predicting falls in elderly.
Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive
Participants: 150 elderly subjects (>65 Years of age) from community and old age home.
Materials and Method: A routine physiotherapy assessment for 150 elderly individuals was conducted. Berg Balance Scale and Dynamic Gait Index were administered.
Statistical analysis: Spearman's correlation coefficient was used for correlating BBS and DGI. Sensitivity and Specificity formulae were used for each scale.
Results: BBS and DGI showed moderate correlation with each other (r=.731)and with falls in elderly (r=.582,r=0.520)Sensitivity of BBS was found to be 0.90 and of DGI to be 0.86.Specificity of BBS and DGI was found to be 0.54 and 0.697 respectively.
Conclusion: DGI proved to be a better outcome measure to be used in ambulatory population to predict falls.
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