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Toe Support Pattern as a New Predictive Factor Associated with Falls in Older People with Psychiatric Disorders

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Background

Maintaining autonomy is one of the principal objectives for seniors and people with psychiatric disorders. Podiatric medical care can help them maintain autonomy. This work aimed to characterize and quantify the support of the toes in a psychiatric population by analyzing the influence of psychotropic medications and toe and foot support parameters on the prevalence of falls.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study in 67 participants (31 people with psychiatric disorders and 36 without diagnosed disorders [control population]). Toe support pattern was analyzed with a pressure platform. Variables were measured in static and dynamic loading and related to falls and psychotropic medication use.

Results

The psychiatric population fell more than the control population and presented less toe-ground contact in static measurements, although it has more foot-ground contact time. Maximum toe pressure during toe-off is also less intensive in the psychiatric population and is related to people who take psychotropic medications.

Conclusions

Toe support pattern could be used as a predictive factor for falls and to improve stability in these populations.

Department of Nursing, Centro Universitario de Plasencia, Universidad de Extremadura, Caceres, Spain. Dr. Marcos-Tejedor is now with Department of Health Sciences Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, Talavera de la Reina.

Department of Pharmacology, Centro Universitario de Plasencia, Universidad de Extremadura, Caceres, Spain.

Department of Anatomy and Human Embryology, Centro Universitario de Plasencia, Universidad de Extremadura, Caceres, Spain.

Corresponding author: Raquel Mayordomo Acevedo, PhD, Department of Anatomy and Human Embryology, Centro Universitario de Plasencia, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda Virgen del Puerto 2, Plasencia, Caceres 10600 Spain. (E-mail: rmayordo@unex.es)

Conflict of Interest: None reported.