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ERIC Number: EJ885734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Gender Differences and the Risk of Falls in Individuals with Profound Vision Loss
Ray, Christopher T.; Wolf, Steven L.
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v104 n5 p311-316 May 2010
Adults with visual impairments experience a loss of balance and mobility, which presents a barrier to independence and is associated with the fear of falling. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which visual status, age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and the strength of quadriceps and hamstrings contribute to compromised postural control in adults with visual impairments. Establishing these relationships is an important prerequisite to identifying at-risk subpopulations and the future development of evidence-based therapeutic prescriptions that are aimed at maintaining or improving postural stability in these adults. Sixty-five adults (aged 20-65) were recruited from the Dallas-Fort Worth chapters of the American Foundation for the Blind, National Federation of the Blind, and Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth. The participants were divided into three categories (low vision, medium vision, and sighted) using the classification system of the International Blind Sports Association (2008). A multiple regression analysis was performed to examine the contribution of visual status, age, gender, BMI, and the strength of quadriceps and hamstrings to postural stability (Sensory Organization Test composite score) in the participants. The results of this study provide evidence that postural stability is disproportionately reduced in women with vision loss. On the basis of the data analyses, although decreased visual status apparently contributes to postural instability, the predominant contributing factor to this instability is inaccurate somatosensory information, which primarily affects postural control in women. This result is noteworthy because by identifying women with vision loss as being disproportionately at risk for decreasing postural stability, fall-prevention programs can target women with declining vision. (Contains 2 tables.)
American Foundation for the Blind. 11 Penn Plaza Suite 300, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 800-232-5463; Tel: 212-502-7600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas