Static postural control and risk of falls in older women with and without urinary incontinence

ABSTRACT Urinary incontinence (UI) is associated with the occurrence of falls in older people and may be related to failure in the postural control of older people. This study aims to compare static postural control under eyes-closed and eyes-open conditions as well as the risk of falls in older women with UI and without UI. The sample was divided in two groups: a group of older women with UI (n=21, age=65.33±4.57 years) and a group of older women without UI (n=19, age=66.37±5.26 years). The urinary loss characteristics of the UI group were evaluated with use of the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire - Short Form (ICIQ-SF). The static postural control of the groups was measured using displacement of center of pressure (COP) through a force platform and the risk of falls was evaluated with the Timed Up and Go test (TUG). Statistical analysis was performed using Mann Whitney’s U-Testand the chi-square test. Most participants with UI lost urine in small amounts and at low frequency. No difference was observed between the groups with respect to COP variables (p>0.05) and risk of falls (p=0.082). However, in the intragroup analysis, a difference was observed in the COP velocity of both groups comparing open and closed eyes (p<0.05). No difference was observed in the static postural control and risk of falls in older women with and without UI.