Falls, sway, and symmetry of weight-bearing after stroke

C M Sackley

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117 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the relationship between falls, postural sway, stance symmetry, and length of hospital admission after stroke. Side of stroke, age, and sex differences are noted. A consecutive sample of 92 stroke patients underwent two assessments, four months apart, at between two and nine months post-stroke. Measurements of weight distribution and sway were made on the Nottingham Balance Platform. Any falls were recorded. A significant relationship was found between sway values at the first assessment and the number of falls (r = 0.27, p less than 0.01). Sway values improved with recovery (z = 2.9, p less than 0.01). Stance symmetry was significantly related to length of stay (r = 0.27, p less than 0.01) and age (r = 0.28, p less than 0.01), but not to falls. A significant difference was found between the weight distribution of right- and left-sided hemiplegias (t = 8.2, p less than 0.001) and stance symmetry improved with recovery (z = 2.9, p less than 0.01). No sex differences were apparent. This suggests that stance symmetry is another index of stroke severity, but that sway and falls frequency are not. However, an important relationship between sway and falls was revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Disability Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Accidental Falls
  • Length of Stay
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Middle Aged
  • Posture
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders
  • Male
  • Female

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