University Study of Falls During COVID-19 Enrolling Patients for Online Survey

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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A study aiming to better understand falls and fall-related injuries in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders while self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic is recruiting participants.

The online study, largely in the form of a questionnaire, is being carried out by the Motor Control Research Laboratory, part of the department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Privacy will be protected, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation states in a release.

Those willing to take part are asked to fill out an online survey, available via this link.

Through this study, researchers hope to determine: how common are falls and fall-related injuries when people are locked down to avoid the coronavirus, and circumstances under which falls and related injuries occurred. The intent is to understand both their prevalence and nature, in relation to a person’s physical abilities and activity levels at the time of a fall.

Researchers are focusing on community-dwelling older adults, as well as people with MS and other neurological disorders. Participants will fill out the online survey, which is expected to take about 15 minutes to complete.

The questionnaire opens with a request for information related to a person’s demographics, such as age, sex, and the highest level of formal education completed. Questions about occupation, general health, and the use of medications are also part of the survey.

Next are questions pertaining to a participant’s levels of physical activity and physical function. This includes questions about general energy levels (e.g., How much of the time during the past 4 weeks did you feel tired?), as well as questions about participating in physical activities, like running, walking, or climbing stairs. Participants will also be asked about both their normal routines and their routines during COVID-19.

Other questions will address a person’s history of falls and fall-related injuries, both during COVID-19 and at other times.

Data collected from the survey will be kept confidential. De-identified information — that is, data from which any information that could be used to identify an individual (e.g., names) has been removed — may be shared for use in research.

Additional information about the study can be obtained by contacting Jacob Sosnoff, PhD, the professor leading the project, by phone at 217-333-9472, or by e-mail at [email protected]

Information about the rights of study participants can be obtained from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at 217-333-2670 or at [email protected]

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