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J Aging Health. 2002 Nov;14(4):452-66.

Self-efficacy as a mediator between fear of falling and functional ability in the elderly.

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  • 1Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR, USA.



This study examined falls self-efficacy and fear of falling to determine whether self-efficacy acts as a mediator between fear of falling and functional ability.


Using the Survey of Activities and Fear of Falling in the Elderly as a fear-of-falling measure and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale for falls self-efficacy, structural relationships among fear of falling, self-efficacy, functional balance, and physical functioning outcomes were tested with older adults (N = 256, M age = 77.5).


Lower levels of fear of falling were significantly related to higher levels of falls self-efficacy, which was in turn associated with better functional outcomes. Moreover, falls self-efficacy mediated the effects of fear of falling on functional outcomes.


Results substantiate the hypothesized mediational role of falls self-efficacy in fear of falling and underscore the need to consider ways of enhancing falls self-efficacy in interventions aimed at reducing falls and fear of falling.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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