Methods: 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.
Results: 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).
Conclusions: 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.
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