Decline of the sensory and motor systems in older people negatively affects postural control. This increases the risk of falls, which is dangerous for older people in long-term care. Being aware of the quality of postural control and the factors affecting it among elderly people, is crucial in implementing an effective fall-prevention program. This study aimed to measure postural control and the demographic, health-related, and functional factors presumed to be correlated with it among nursing home residents. Another aim was to find valid screening tools based on these factors.
Seventy one nursing home residents were included. Postural control was measured using the Berg Balance Scale. Grip strength, the 30-s chair stand test, and the Timed Up and Go test were used to measure global muscle strength, and functional mobility, respectively. The results of these functional tests were dichotomized using age-specific reference values.
Postural control was significantly worse in those who did not reach the age-specific reference values in any of the three functional tests. Effect sizes were large for functional mobility and medium for muscle strength. Multimorbidity and gender had no effect on postural control in our sample.