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Measure, Promote, and Reward Mobility to Prevent Falls in Older Patients

Samir K. Sinha, MD, DPhil; Allan S. Detsky, MD, PhD
JAMA. 2012;308(24):2573-2574. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.68313.
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The ability to maintain an upright posture and walk are crucial to human survival. Until the development and dissemination of mobility assistance devices over the last few centuries, once a person lost these abilities, death often followed. Movement and upright posture are also important in protecting the integrity of organ systems and body functions such as skin, coagulation homeostasis, and cardiovascular fitness. Humans have developed considerable redundancy to sustain movement while either standing upright or sitting in a mobility assistance device like a wheelchair. Injury to one part of the neuromusculoskeletal system is compensated by recruiting other parts of the body to preserve upward mobility. However, with increasing age and injury, maintaining upright posture and movement becomes increasingly difficult. Falls are a manifestation of this phenomenon, serving as identifiers of other geriatric syndromes such as frailty and polypharmacy.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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