Introduction: Turning was reported as one of the activities that most frequently leads to falling among stroke patients. This study investigated whether the duration and steps of a 180° turn while walking can distinguish retrospective fallers from non-fallers and predict future falls in a 1-year period in patients with poststroke hemiplegia. Methods: Thirty stroke patients were recruited. They were instructed to get up from a chair, walk straight 3 m, turn around, and return to seated position to assess the 180° walking-turn task. Turning performance was measured by two inertial sensor units of Physilog. Turn duration and steps were recorded for analysis. The numbers of retrospective and prospective falls were also obtained. Results: No significant difference was observed between retrospective stroke fallers and non-fallers in turn duration and steps. Turn duration and steps were significantly greater in prospective stroke fallers than in non-fallers. The cutoff turn duration of 4 s (area under the curve 0.75, 95% CI: 0.56–0.93, sensitivity 67%, specificity 80%, p =.04) and turn step of 7 steps (area under the curve 0.73, 95% CI: 0.51–0.94, sensitivity 56%, specificity 85%, p =.05) were found to most accurately predict prospective stroke fallers from non-fallers. Conclusions: Turn duration and steps were unable to discriminate between retrospective fallers and non-fallers but could predict prospective falls in patients with stroke. More than 4 s or 7 steps to complete a 180° turn while walking can be a predictor for patients with stroke at an increased risk of falling.
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