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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 Sep-Oct;53(2):e232-6. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.12.018. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Fear of falling (FF): Psychosocial and physical factors among institutionalized older Chinese men in Taiwan.

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Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, No 386, Ta-Chung 1st Road, Kaohsiung 81362, Taiwan.


Fear of falling (FF) can have multiple adverse consequences in the elderly. Although there are various fall prevention programs, little is known of FF and its associated characteristics. This study examined FF-associated physical and psychosocial factors in older Chinese men living in a veterans home in southern Taiwan. Subjects with a recent episode of delirium, of bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound status, severe hearing impairment or impaired cognition were excluded. Overall, 371 residents (mean age 82.1 ± 5.11 years, all males) participated. The prevalence of FF was 25.3%. Univariate analysis revealed that subjects in the FF group were older age, having lower education level, poorer sitting and standing balance, poorer activities of daily living (ADL), more depressive symptoms, higher chances of using walking aids, neurologic diseases, and a history of fall within the past 6 months. Logistic regression showed that depressive symptoms (odds ratio = OR = 6.73, 95%CI: 3.03-14.93, p < 0.001), activities of daily living (OR = 2.48, 95%CI: 1.08-5.71, p = 0.033), history of fall in the past 6 months (OR = 2.47, 95%CI: 1.04-5.9, p = 0.041), and neurological diseases (OR = 2.75, 95%CI: 1.15-6.56, p = 0.023) were all independent risk factors for FF.

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