OBJECTIVE: To compare the fall history between older adults with and without a previous stroke and to identify the determinants of falls and fear of falling in older stroke survivors.
DESIGN: Case-control observational study.
SETTING: Primary teaching hospital.
PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-five patients with stroke (mean age ± standard deviation, 66 ± 7 years) and 50 age-matched control participants with no previous stroke were tested.
METHODS: Fall history, fear of falling, and physical, cognitive, and psychological function were assessed. A χ2 test was performed to compare characteristics between groups, and logistic regression was performed to determine the risk factors for falls and fear of falling.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fall events in the past 12 months, Fall Efficacy Scale-International, Berg Balance Scale, Functional Ambulation Category, Fatigue Severity Scale, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and Patient Healthy Questionnaire-9 were measured for all participants. Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment was used to quantify severity of stroke motor impairments.
RESULTS: Twenty-three patients and 13 control participants reported at least one fall in the past 12 months (P = .58). Nine participants with stroke had recurrent falls (≥2 falls) compared with none of the control participants (P < .01). Participants with stroke reported greater concern for falling than did nonstroke control participants (P < .01). Female gender was associated with falls in the nonstroke group, whereas falls in the stroke group were not significantly associated with any measured outcomes. Fear of falling in the stroke group was associated with functional ambulation level and balance. Functional ambulation level alone explained 22% of variance in fear of falling in the stroke group.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with persons without a stroke, patients with stroke were significantly more likely to experience recurrent falls and fear of falling. Falls in patients with stroke were not explained by any of the outcome measures used, whereas fear of falling was predicted by functional ambulation level. This study has identified potentially modifiable risk factors with which to devise future prevention strategies for falls in patients with stroke.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A semistructured focus group interview was conducted with 53 participants with T2DM. Participants were purposefully sampled and asked to share their perspective on Ramadan fasting. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically.
RESULTS: Participants reported optimism towards fasting during Ramadan, as they believed that fasting was beneficial to their overall well-being, and a time for family bonding. Most participants made limited attempts to discuss with their doctors on the decision to fast and self-adjusted their medication based on experience and symptoms during this period. They also reported difficulty in managing their diet, due to fear of hypoglycemia and the collective social aspect of fasting.
CONCLUSION: Muslims are optimistic about their well-being when fasting during Ramadan. Many choose to fulfill their religious obligation despite being discouraged by their doctors. Collaboration with religious authorities should be explored to ensure patients receive adequate education before fasting during Ramadan.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02189135; Results.
METHOD: We report a series of cases of Malaysian women who had been suffering from vaginismus and 'infertility'. All the cases had never been attended to medically and there were long delays in seeking intervention. There was no history of traumatic sexual experience or any major psychiatric illness in these patients. Majority of the patients had prominent symptoms of anxiety.
CONCLUSION: The cases illustrate that it is important to rule out the possibility of vaginismus among patients with infertility. The former have unique psychological features which require psychological interventions.