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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2012, Article ID 315620, 5 pages
Research Article

Falls and Physical Activity in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

1Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 301 Freer Hall, 906 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2Illinois Neurologic Institute, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL 61605, USA
3Department of Physical Therapy, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA

Received 21 May 2012; Revised 10 July 2012; Accepted 11 July 2012

Academic Editor: Francesco Patti

Copyright © 2012 J. J. Sosnoff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To examine the association between fall history and physical activity using an objective measure of physical activity (i.e., accelerometry) in persons with multiple sclerosis. Design. A community-based sample of 75 ambulatory persons with multiple sclerosis volunteered for the investigation. Participants self-reported fall history in the last year, underwent a neurological exam to determine Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and wore an accelerometer around the waist for 7 consecutive days to determine physical activity. Results. Overall, 37 persons (49.3% of the sample) reported falling in the last year with 28 of the 37 falling more than once. Persons who fell in the last year had a significantly lower number of steps/day than nonfallers (3510 versus 4940 steps/day; 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). However, when controlling for disability status there was no statistically significant difference between fallers and nonfallers (4092 versus 4373 steps/day; 𝑃 > . 0 5 ). Conclusions. Collectively, the findings suggest that fall history may have little impact on current physical activity levels in persons with multiple sclerosis.