The Risk Factors Of Fall And Their Correlation With Balance, Depression, Cognitive Impairment And Mobility Skills In Elderly Nursing Home Residents
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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate risk factors of fall and to examine their correlations with balance, depression, cognitive impairment and mobility skills in elderly nursing home residents. Methods: This study included 30 elderly people living in Seyranbaglari Nursing Home in Ankara City Centre, Turkey and was carried out in 2004. Risk factors for fall were obtained through individual interviews and observation. Cognitive function was assessed by Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was used for determining the depression status of the elderly. Balance of the subjects was evaluated by the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Get Up and Go Test (GUGT). In addition, mobility skills were assessed by Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI). The correlation analysis was used for establishing the correlations of the total number of risk factors with the other parameters. In addition, the correlations among all parameters were evaluated. Results: At the end of the study, it was found that the correlation among all parameters was significant (p < 0.01, p < 0.05). For example, there was a significant correlation of MMSE score with the total number of risk factor for falls, GDS, BBS, GUGT and RMI. The RMI score was also correlated with GDS, MMSE, BBS and GUGT scores. Conclusion: The results of the present study confirm that impairment of cognitive function, balance and mobility skills, and depression increases the risk of falling. In addition, all the parameters affect each other, too. There is a vicious circle among these parameters. If this vicious circle is not broken, an increasing risk of fall will be inevitable. That is why this information will be useful for patients' therapy, and for development of fall prevention programs for elderly people.