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Fear of falling and foot pain, impairment and disability in rheumatoid arthritis: a case-control study
Morpeth, T; Brenton-Rule, A; Carroll, M; Frecklington, M; Rome, K
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Fear of falling, foot pain, impairment and disability are commonly reported in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the relationship between fear of falling and foot pain, impairment and disability has not been investigated in established RA. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between fear of falling and foot pain, walking velocity and foot impairment and disability in women with established RA. A secondary aim was to evaluate differences between fear of falling, foot pain, walking velocity and foot impairment and disability in women with established RA and age- and sex-matched control participants. Twenty-one women with established RA and twenty-one age- and sex-matched controls were assessed for fear of falling, foot pain, foot impairment and disability and walking velocity. Pearson’s r-correlations were used to examine relationships between fear of falling and the foot measures. Independent samples t tests evaluated the differences in fear of falling and foot measures between the two groups. In people with RA, significant correlations were found between fear of falling and foot impairment (r = 0.53, p = 0.015), foot disability (r = 0.77, p <0.001) and walking velocity (r = 0.56, p < 0.001). No correlation was found between fear of falling and foot pain (r = 0.36; p = 0.11). Significant differences between cases and control participants were found between fear of falling (p = 0.001), foot impairment (p = 0.004) and foot disability (p < 0.001). Foot impairment and disability relates to fear of falling in women with established RA. A better understanding of fear of falling in people with established RA may contribute to more efficient falls assessments in order to identify at risk individuals.