A study found that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are still at a high risk for falls, even if they do not have a clinical disability. Certain outcome measures assessments may be able to help predict which patients are at a greater risk for falls without the presence of a clinical disability.
A total of 104 patients with MS with no clinical disability, defined as an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score ≤1.5, were recruited for the study. They were assessed using the Timed 25-Foot Walk, Six Minute Walk Test, Timed Up and Go test (TUG), Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale (MSWS-12), Single Leg Stance test, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC), Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory-II. Three-month falls history was also recorded.
One-quarter of patients with MS reported at least one fall in the past three months. Patients with falls, compared with those without, had significantly greater TUG and MSWS-12 scores (P<0.05) and significantly lower ABC scores (P<0.05). When adjusting for EDSS score, increasing TUG and MSWS-12 scores and decreasing ABC score were correlated with a greater risk for falls.
“The present findings highlight that falls are frequent problem for patients with MS, even if they do not have a clinical disability. Therefore, falls prevention strategies are also required in the early stages of the disease in clinical practice,” the study authors concluded.