Predicting falls in adults with multiple sclerosis using patient-reported measures: Are perceptions of dual-tasking missing?

Published:August 14, 2022DOI:


      • Mobility and cognitive impairments associated with multiple sclerosis seriously impact fall risk.
      • Assessing if individuals with MS have difficulties dual tasking enhances fall risk prediction.
      • Accurate prediction of fall risk based on self-reported difficulty of dual tasking is beneficial for early identification and timely intervention for adults with MS.



      Mobility challenges and cognitive impairments prominent in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) significantly increase the risk of falling. Examining perceptions of how the simultaneous performance of completing motor and cognitive tasks impacts fall risk may have clinical utility. The purpose of this study was to identify the most significant self-reported predictors of falling including perceived dual-tasking.


      Participants included 79 individuals with MS were surveyed and reported their fall history over the previous 3 months and completed the Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale -12 (MSWS-12), Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I), and two Dual-Task Questionnaires (DTQ), a previously published original one and a newly expanded version.


      Of the sample, 63 were classified as non-fallers and 16 as fallers. Backward stepwise regression analysis revealed that perceived ambulation disability and dual-tasking best predicted fall status (sensitivity of 57.7%, specificity of 90.6%, area under the receiving operating curve of 0.81 (95% CI 0.70–0.92).


      The inclusion of self-reported dual-tasking perceptions has utility in predicting fall risk. Effective assessment toward this end offers the potential for early detection and intervention.


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