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Knowledge of Risk Factors for Falling Reported by Patients with Parkinson Disease

Sadowski, Cheryl A.; Jones, Allyson C.; Gordon, Beverly; Feeny, David H.

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: December 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 6 - p 336–341
Article

This study examined awareness of the risk factors for falling among a group of community dwelling patients with Parkinson disease (PD) using the Falls Risk Awareness Questionnaire (FRAQ). A cross‐sectional survey of 28 patients who attended a Movement Disorders Clinic for treatment of PD was used. FRAQ is a 28‐item self‐administered survey that assesses the knowledge and perception of risk factors for falling. Demographic, medical, and medication data were gathered from both the participants and clinic charts. Twenty‐three (82%) of the participants reported falls in the past; seven (30%) had fallen within the past month. Nineteen (68%) of the participants felt they were at risk for further falls. When asked to list potential risk factors for falling, only 14% could identify medication as a risk factor. Persons with PD are at substantial risk of falling, yet many appear to be unaware of common risk factors, especially medication use.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to C. Allyson Jones, PhD, at cajones@ualberta.ca. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Cheryl A. Sadowski, PharmD, is an associate professor on the faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Beverly Gordon, BSc (Pharm), was an undergraduate student within the faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at the time of this study. She is currently employed as a pharmacist.

David H. Feeny, PhD, is a senior investigator and assistant program director in the Science Programs Department at the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research, Portland, OR.

© 2007 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses