Self reported function and disability in late life: A comparison between recurrent fallers and non-fallers Academic Article uri icon


  • To compare self-reported function and disability between fallers and non-fallers. Self-reported late life function and disability (LLFDI) were evaluated among 100 elderly persons who live independently in the community in a cross sectional study. The function component evaluates difficulty in performing physical activities in upper and lower extremity and the disability component evaluates limitations in life activities and frequency in taking part in life tasks. Falls, cognitive function, berg balance test (BBS), and timed up and go (TUG) were also evaluated. Eighteen subjects reported one fall (F), 11 fell twice or more (RF) and 71 did not report retrospective fall (NF). There were significant differences in overall function of LLFDI between RF and NF (56.8 +/- 5.7 vs. 63.7 +/- 11.4, P = 0.04), mainly due to decreased basic lower extremity function scores (66.2 +/- 8.6 vs. 75.3 +/- 13.5, P = 0.03); no significant differences were found in disability component scores. RF subjects showed high to moderate correlations between overall function of LLFDI, BBS and TUG (r = 0.77, P = 0.006 and r = -0.62, P = 0.04, respectively), moderate correlation between disability limitation and BBS (r = 0.60, P = 0.05) but weaker with TUG (r = -0.38, P = 0.28). Both BBS and TUG were not correlated with disability frequency (r = -0.18, P = 0.61 and r = 0.14, P = 0.68, respectively) in RF. RF demonstrated high correlation between overallfunction and disability limitation (r = 0.76, P = 0.007) and low with disability frequency (r = 0.39, P = 0.23). Balance function, self-reported function and disability limitation are strongly associated in RF but not related to the disability frequency, suggesting that the frequency of performing life tasks was not influenced only by functional capabilities.

publication date

  • December 1, 2008