A survey of falls in people with dystonia.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy, 2020, 25, (3), pp. e1840
Issue Date:
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Dystonia is a chronic and sometimes progressive neurological disorder causing abnormalities in movement and function. We conducted a preliminary survey to investigate whether people with dystonia experience falls and to identify contributing factors to falls in this population.


An online survey of people with dystonia was conducted in November 2015. Respondents were asked to complete demographic information, three questionnaires (the Falls Self-Efficacy Scale International [FES-I], the Activities-based Balance Confidence Scale [ABC] and the Functional Disability Questionnaire [FDQ]), and to report any falls sustained during the previous 6 months.


Thirty-nine percent of the 122 respondents reported falling in the previous 6 months and 65% of fallers were diagnosed with dystonia not affecting the lower limbs. Fallers reported lower falls self-efficacy and balance confidence with higher functional disability. Both falling scales correlated with self-reported functional disability. Linear regression analysis for falls prediction revealed the variables FES-I and FDQ accounted for almost 30% of the falls in this dystonia population.


This survey indicates that fear of falling and balance confidence are impaired in people with dystonia, possibly impacting on function and falls. Further investigation into balance, function and falls in this population is required.
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