Volume 233 (2014) Issue 2 Pages 79-87
Falling is one of the most common complications in stroke survivors. It is therefore important to evaluate the risk of falls. In this study, we investigated the usability of the performance-oriented mobility assessment (POMA) for predicting falls in stroke patients. The POMA examines the level of balance and mobility. Data were collected on the number of falls and physical functions from 72 stroke survivors. Physical functions were measured using the POMA balance subscale, One Leg Stand test (OLS), Sit To Stand test (STS), 10-m Walk Test (10WT), Fugl-Meyer assessment (FM), and Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS). Since the accuracy of the POMA balance subscale was moderate, the cutoff value used for predicting falls was 12.5 points (sensitivity: 72%; specificity: 74%), and the area under the curve was 0.78 (95% confidence interval: 0.66-0.91, p < 0.001). When comparing the physical functions (i.e., OLS, STS, 10WT, FM, and TIS) to the cutoff value for the POMA balance subscale, the physical functions of the group over 12.5 points for the subscale were significantly higher than those in the group below 12.5 points (p < 0.05). The muscle strength shown in the STS was the most important factor affecting the performance in the POMA balance subscale (β = −0.447). For the group below 12.5 points on the POMA balance subscale, the risk of falling increased by 0.304 times more than the group over 12.5 points. The POMA balance subscale is a valid tool for assessing the physical function and fall risk of stroke survivors.