Falls and balance in patients with COPD

Samantha Harrison, Cristino Oliveira, Kirsti Loughran, Marla Beauchamp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


People with COPD fall more than healthy adults of the same age, and approximately half of all individuals who suffer an acute exacerbation will experience a fall. Balance is a major risk factor for falls, and while the exact mechanisms underpinning poor balance in people with COPD are unknown, reduced muscle strength, poor neuromuscular coordination of core muscles and musculoskeletal pain may play a role. Guidelines recommend assessing balance in PR. HCPs should enquire whether individuals aged ≥65 years have fallen in the past year, while being mindful of the fall-related stigma that is common in older adults. Screening for balance impairment can be performed quickly using the timed up and go test, a standing balance test or a repeated chair–stand test. If indicated, the Berg Balance Scale or the mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test offers a comprehensive balance assessment and informs targeted balance training, which has been delivered successfully alongside PR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPulmonary Rehabilitation
Subtitle of host publicationERS Monographs
EditorsAnne Holland, Simone Dal Corso, Martijn Spruit
PublisherEuropean Respiratory Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781849841405
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Falls and balance in patients with COPD'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this