Objective: To investigate the influence of balance, fear of falling and pain on the type of gait aids used by low care residential older persons. Method: A cross-sectional design was used. Valid and reliable measures of balance (Berg Balance Test), fear of falling (Falls Efficacy Scale) and pain (Geriatric Pain Measure) were collected. The influence of these clinical factors on the type of gait aid subjects used (no aid, stick or frame, or both) was analysed using one-way anova for multiple independent groups. Results: Balance and fear of falling were significantly related to the type of gait aid subjects used (P < 0.05), whereas pain had no significant influence (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Balance and fear of falling are significantly associated with the type of gait aid used in this low care population and thus might be important clinical factors to consider when prescribing gait aids. The Berg Balance Test and the Falls Efficacy Scale appear to be useful quantitative tools that might assist this.
- Fear of falling
- Gait aids