The primary aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of fall risk factors in older chiropractic patients. The secondary aim was to investigate the quality-of-life status of older chiropractic patients and to see whether a history of falling was related to quality-of-life status.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at 12 chiropractic practices throughout Auckland, New Zealand, and Melbourne, Australia. The study involved gaining a profile of health status, fall history, and fall risk from active chiropractic patients who were 65 years or older.
One hundred ten older chiropractic patients were approached, and 101 agreed to participate in this study (response rate, 91.8%). Thirty-five percent of participants had experienced at least 1 fall in the previous 12 months. Of those that had fallen, 80% had at least a minor injury, with 37% of fallers requiring medical attention and 6% suffering a serious injury. The prevalence of most fall risk factors was consistent with published data for community-dwelling older adults. Quality of life of older chiropractic patients appeared to be good, but fallers reported a lower physical component summary score compared with nonfallers (P = .04).
A portion of the older chiropractic patients sampled in this study had a substantial risk of falling. This risk could be assessed on a regular basis for the presence of modifiable fall risk factors, and appropriate advice, given when fall risks are identified.
Author information: Holt KR, Noone PL, Short K, Elley CR, Haavik H. Research Department, New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand.