Content » Vol 45, Issue 5

Original report

A population-based study of fall risk factors among people with multiple sclerosis in Stockholm county

Charlotte Ytterberg, Ulrika Einarsson, Lotta Widén Holmqvist, Elizabeth Walker Peterson
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, and Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1129


Objective: To identify factors associated with increased likelihood of reporting a recent fall among people with multiple sclerosis. This study was exploratory in its intent to examine sense of coherence as a contextual influence on fall risk. The study also sought to confirm that variables previously identified as fall risk factors for people with multiple sclerosis persist when tested in a population-based sample.
Design: The study was cross-sectional and data was obtained in the context of a population-based study of people with multiple sclerosis living in Stockholm.
Subjects: A total of 164 people with multiple sclerosis, age range 19–79 years.
Methods: Data were gathered through established instruments. Key instruments utilized included the sense of coherence scale, the Lindmark Motor Capacity Assessment’s subscale for balance, and the 10-metre walking test. A logistic regression model examined factors associated with reporting a fall in the past 3 months.
Results: Of the participants, 62 (38%) reported experiencing at least one fall in the past 3 months. Reduced walking speed, impaired balance, and weak sense of coherence were associated with falls in the past 3 months.
Conclusion: These findings underscore the importance of examining diverse and modifiable influences on fall risk, including walking speed, balance and sense of coherence, in future studies involving people with multiple sclerosis.

Lay Abstract


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