People with multiple sclerosis use many fall prevention strategies but still fall frequently

Michelle H. Cameron, Miho Asano, Dennis Bourdette, Marcia L. Finlayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the use of fall prevention strategies by people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who do or do not fall. Design: Prospective cohort. All assessments were completed between January 2011 and December 2011. Data used in this analysis were collected as part of an observational study that included baseline assessment followed by prospective counting of falls using fall calendars. Setting: Veterans Affairs and university medical centers. Participants: People with MS (N=58) of any subtype, aged 18 to 50 years, with Expanded Disability Status Scale score ≤6.0, recruited from MS clinics at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University and from the surrounding areas. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Measures included the occurrence of falls over 3 months and scores on the Fall Prevention Strategy Survey (FPSS) and the relations between fall prevention strategy use reported on the FPSS and falls. Results: A total of 52 subjects completed the study. Of these, 33 (63%) subjects fell at least once in the 3-month period, and 19 (36%) subjects did not fall. The mean total FPSS score for the fallers was significantly higher than the nonfallers (mean ± SD, 8.1±6.4 vs 4.0±4.1; range, 0-20 vs 0-15; P=.007), and FPSS scores correlated with monthly fall rates (ρ=.49, P=.01). A higher proportion of fallers than nonfallers used the strategies of turning on lights at home, asking others for help, and talking to a health care professional about fall prevention. However, both groups rarely talked to a health care professional about fall prevention or asked a provider to check whether any medications might increase fall risk. Conclusions: People with MS who fall use more fall prevention strategies than those who do not fall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1566
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Accidental falls
  • Activities of daily living
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Self care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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