Relationship between foot problems and foot care, physical function and falls in community-dwelling elderly

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Objective : We aimed to examine foot problems in community-dwelling elderly and assess the relationship between foot care and physical capacity/falls.Methods : The subjest were 105 elderly (mean age 74.6±6.3 years)who were self-sufficient in their daily lives. Participants completed a questionnaire survey regarding foot problems, foot care, and falls, and we measured primary risk factors for falling, which included walking capacity, muscle strength, and balance capacity.Results : 1. We found that 61.0% of participants had foot problems including calluses (43.8%), hallux valgus (40.6%), trichhophytosis (37.5%), among others. Many subjects reported neglect of their problems or self-treatment. Approximately 80% of subjects, regardless of whether they had foot-related problems or not, reported that they washed their foot, and approximately half did foot exercises. The group with foot problems was more participants in this group reported a habit that was observed the foot (p<0.05). 2. The group with foot problems demonstrated a slower walking speed (p<0.05) compared to the group without foot problems, but no significant difference was observed in balance capacity and muscle strength between groups. The group with foot problems was more likely to have experienced a fall, and more participants in this group reported stumbling tendencies (p<0.05). The majority of participants in both groups reported "stumbling" as the reason for their falls, but the type of surface on which the fall occurred varied. Most participants with foot problems reported falls on level surfaces, while those without foot problems fell on uneven surfaces. Fall-induced injuries were common in the group with foot problems (p<0.05).Discussion : Approximately 60% of community-dwelling elderly have foot problems. The association between foot problems and falls suggests that interventions for foot problems may prevent falls.


  • JNI

    JNI 9(2), 25-32, 2011-03



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