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Research Article  |   May 2009
Consequences of Poststroke Falls: Activity Limitation, Increased Dependence, and the Development of Fear of Falling
Author Affiliations
  • Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR, is Rehabilitation Research Scientist, HSRD Center of Excellence on Implementation of Evidence Based Practices, Stroke QUERI Center, Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Indianapolis; and Assistant Professor, Indiana University Department of Occupational Therapy, Indiana University Center for Aging Research, 1140 West Michigan Street, CF 311, Indianapolis, IN 46202–5119; araschmi@iupui.edu
  • Maude Rittman, PhD, RN, is Research Health Scientist, Malcom Randall VA Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center, University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Stroke / Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
Research Article   |   May 2009
Consequences of Poststroke Falls: Activity Limitation, Increased Dependence, and the Development of Fear of Falling
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2009, Vol. 63, 310-316. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.3.310
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2009, Vol. 63, 310-316. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.3.310
Abstract

OBJECTIVES. We used qualitative data to explore the perceived consequences of poststroke falls during the first 6 months after discharge from the hospital.

METHOD. We interviewed 132 male stroke survivors 1 and 6 months after discharge to describe stroke recovery trajectories. Interviews of participants who discussed falling after stroke as one of their major concerns were analyzed to explore the consequences of poststroke falls.

RESULTS. During the first 6 months after stroke, 42 (32%) participants discussed poststroke falls. The results of the qualitative analysis indicate three important emergent themes related to the consequences of poststroke falls: (1) limiting activity and participation, (2) increasing dependence, and (3) developing a fear of falling.

CONCLUSION. Falls after discharge home were common in this group of stroke survivors. Future research is needed to better understand the impact of fall-related consequences and to explore strategies for fall prevention.