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Patients with diabetes are at higher risk of experiencing fall-related injuries when walking than healthy controls. The underlying mechanism responsible for this is not yet clear. Thus we intend to summarize diabetic patients' gait characteristics and emphasize those which could be the possible underlying mechanisms for increased fall risk. This systematic review aims, in particular, to: (1) evaluate the quality of existing studies which investigate the gait characteristics of diabetic patients, (2) highlight areas of agreement and contradiction in study results, (3) discuss and emphasize parameters associated with fall risk, and (4) propose new orientations and further domains for research needed for their fall risk prevention. We conducted an electronic search of Pedro, PubMed, Ovid and Cochrane. Two authors independently assessed all abstracts. Quality of the selected articles was scored, and the study results summarized and discussed. We considered 236 abstracts of which 28 entered our full text review. Agreement on data quality between two reviewers was high (kappa: 0.90). Authors investigating gait parameters in a diabetic population evaluated in particular parameters either associated with fall risk (speed, step length or step-time variability) or with ulcers (pressure). There is agreement that diabetic patients walk slower, with greater step variability, and present higher plantar pressure than healthy controls. We concluded that diabetic patients present gait abnormalities, some of which can lead to heightened fall risk. To understand its' underlying mechanisms, and to promote efficient prevention, further studies should analyse gait under 'real-life' conditions.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, further contribution|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine|
|DDC:||610 Medicine & health|
|Deposited On:||24 Nov 2008 16:37|
|Last Modified:||23 Nov 2012 16:58|
|WoS Citation Count:||20|
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