Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2021 , Vol 67 , Num 4

Evaluation of balance, fall risk, and related factors in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome

Köksal Sarıhan 1 ,Hülya Uzkeser 1 ,Akın Erdal 1
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Atatürk University Faculty of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2021.6273 Objectives: In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether fibromyalgia patients had a higher fall risk compared to healthy individuals and to identify its relationship, if there was an increase, with clinical features.

Patients and methods: Between March 2018 and September 2018, a total of 50 consecutive female patients with fibromyalgia (median age: 35 years; interquantile range [IQR], 27 to 40 years) and 50 healthy female volunteers (median age: 30 years; IQR, 23 to 40 years) were included in the study. Pain was evaluated with the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), life quality with the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), balance functions with the Berg Balance Test (BBT), and the risk of falls with a posturography device. Disease activity of fibromyalgia patients was evaluated with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).

Results: The mean fall risk index of the fibromyalgia patients was 45%. The fall risk index was significantly higher (p=0.010) and the BBT scores were significantly lower in the patient group (p<0.001). There was a significant difference in terms of fall risk between the control group and drug-free fibromyalgia patients; however, no significant difference was found between the balance scores of the two groups. In the fibromyalgia group, a weak positive relationship was determined between the fall risk index and the social isolation subscale of the NHP.

Conclusion: Our study results showed an increased risk of loss of balance and falls in fibromyalgia patients, compared to healthy individuals. This fall risk increase was also detected in fibromyalgia patients who did not use drugs. These findings suggest a possible relationship between social isolation and an increased risk of falls. Keywords : Balance, fall risk, fibromyalgia