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Summary: Falls in turning

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  • Summary: Falls in turning

    The following are the responses I have received for my original posting.
    Thank you for those who responded to my questions.


    Bob Chen, PhD, PT
    Department of Physical Therapy
    New York University

    This is my original posting:

    >I wonder if anyone knows or has any data or reference regarding the fall
    >statistics during gait. I am especially interested in the % of fall that
    >happen during turning in walking (or changing direction). There are many
    >articles in falls and I could not find a paper that classified different
    >types of fall during gait. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    The following are the responses:

    I have been working on "turning while walking" for a couple of years.
    Through our literature survey, no clean data was found on the percentage
    of falls happened in turning while walking. However, one study by Cumming
    and Klinberg said that a fall from turning when walking could have as many
    as 7 times higher rates in leading to hip fractures than a fall from
    walking straight. Related information could be found in:

    Cao C., Ashton-Miller J.A., Schultz A.B., and Alexander N.B.
    Effects of age and gender on abilities to turn suddenly when walking.
    J. Gerontol.: Med. Sci., 1997.

    Could you post a summary or a simple note to me? Thanks.


    Cheng Cao, PhD

    Take a look at Albert King's work and Steve Goldstein.



    We have recently completed some lab-based studies regarding falls and
    slips when walking in a straight path or one with a turn. Currently, we
    are in the process of compiling the data from this study, which would
    include a "frequency of falls recorded". The freq would be correlated to
    all the risk factors studied in this project (lighting, load carriage,
    surface slipperiness,... etc.).

    I would be greatly interested in obtaining a copy of the responses you
    receive to your query. Please forward me a copy of the responses you
    receive. Esp., statistics that relate to workplace (field studies).

    Thank you.


    Angus Bagchee, Ph.D. (


    At the 27th Oct you have sent a message to the Biomch-L server regarding
    literature of fall statistics during gait. I am/was facing the same
    problems and it seems that there are not a lot of studies around in this
    area. The ones I have are the following:

    Prudham D & Grimley-Evans J "Factors associated with falls in the elderly:
    a community study" Age and Ageing 1981; 10: 141-146

    Speechley M & Tinetti M " Falls and injuries in frail and vigorous
    community elderly persons"
    Am Geriatr Soc 1991; 39: 46-52

    Myers AH, Young Y and Langlois JA "Prevention of falls in the elderly"
    Bone 1996 Jan.; 18(1) (Suppl): 87S-101S

    The last one is a big review classifying studies according their topics. So
    this might also be of some help. It would be nice if you could send me a
    summary of your answers as I am still looking for some other studies done
    in this related field.

    With kind regards
    Margrit Meier

    Dear Mr Chen
    Probably you have read the papers I mention, but if this could be of
    There is a good bibliographic review about falls in the elderly:
    "Prevention of Falls in the Elderly" by Myers,
    Young and Langlois in Bone Vol. 18 No. 1 Supplement
    January 1996:87S-101S.
    Also, you could check these:
    1) "Patient Falls and related variables". Leighbody, Andrews and Long.
    Proc. Human Factors Soc.-29th Annual Meeting- 1985
    2) "Environmental and Behavioral Circumstances Associated with Falls at
    Home Among Healthy Elderly Individuals". Connell and Wolf. Arch
    Phys.Med Rehabil Vol. 78. February 1997.
    This paper is the only one that makes an in-depth examination of the
    cause of the falls studied.
    I am interested also in this topic.
    Yours sincerely
    Arturo Forner
    Instituto de Biomecanica
    Tel. +34 6 131 83 55
    Fax +34 6 131 80 16

    The VA Palo Alto, CA has conducted balance studies for at least 6 years now.
    They should be on the web. They might be able to help.


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