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The most common measures have been symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
older adults with a specific type of anxiety—the fear of falling while stair walking
Many types of orthopedic or neuromuscular impairments can impact mobility. Amputation, paralysis, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, and spinal cord injury. Mobility impairments range from lower body impairments, which may require use of canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, to upper body impairments that may include limited or no use of the upper extremities and hands. The weight of the available evidence supports an association between increased symptoms of anxiety and depression and perceived difficulty walking up stairs. The study showed a dose-dependent association between anxiety/depression symptoms and the degree of perceived difficulty walking up stairs.
Fear of falling and its potential impact on physical activity among older adults, especially those in poor physical health, is well documented.27,28 Estimates of fall prevalence range widely from 3% to 85% and depend on age, the presence of pain or prior falls, medication use, and health status such as the presence of a hip fracture or balance problem. Fear of falling is a greater concern during stair descent compared with stair ascent. Self-reported factors potentially affecting stair use were examined in a survey of 248 adults, highly educated, retired, and between the ages of 40 and 92 years. 32 The results showed that feelings of fatigue were a greater factor affecting stair ascent while fear of falling was a greater concern going down stairs.