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Phys Occup Ther Geriatr. 2008;27(3):212-228.

THE RELATIONSHIP OF MEMORY, REASONING, AND SPEED OF PROCESSING ON FALLING AMONG OLDER ADULTS.

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1
School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.

Abstract

Older adults are at higher risk of falling and of suffering greater devastating effects from such falls. The objective of this study was to longitudinally examine predictors for risk of falling such as cognitive composites (reasoning, memory, speed of processing) along with traditional predictors. Data on falls, cognition, objective functional tests, visual acuity, and demographics were collected on older adults at baseline (N = 698) and at a two-year annual follow-up (n = 550). By using hierarchical multiple regression, we found that older age, being an older Caucasian woman, poorer performance on Turn 360 at baseline, and having a better memory at baseline predicted higher reports of falling in the past two months at the two-year annual follow-up. These results confirm prior findings except for memory; however, better memory as a predictor of falls may indicate that there is a recall bias dependent on memory function.

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