Comparing Forward (FW) And Backward Walking (BW) Speeds With Age And Disease Severity In Persons With Parkinson Disease (PWP)
AuthorSchwartz, Delanee Louise
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractParkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease with a worldwide prevalence of 6.2 million, expected to double by 2040. 90% of these individuals will fall and be seriously injured in their lifetime. Clinical tests are needed that can predict falls so that proactive fall prevention can be implemented. While there are several clinical measures shown to predict falls in persons with Parkinson disease (PWP) there are none that accurately represent the complex and multidirectional nature of everyday mobility that may lead to falls in PWP. Previous studies suggest that backward walking (BW) deficits may surpass forward walking (FW) deficits, be more related to disease severity, impacted earlier in disease, and indicative of everyday mobility problems in PWP. We summarize retrospective data from a physical therapy clinic that used the 3- meter BW test, previously introduced in healthy adults, in a group of PWP of varying disease severity. We describe the relationship of FW and BW gait speed across age, disease severity, and fall risk, as determined by a retrospective 6- month fall report. Our data suggests BW may predict fall risk across disease severity and supports a prospective study that combines BW with other tests to assess fall risk across disease severity.