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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2016 Mar;16(3):336-44. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12477. Epub 2015 Apr 14.

Prevalence of fear of falling in older adults, and its associations with clinical, functional and psychosocial factors: the Frailty in Brazilian Older People-Rio de Janeiro study.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Social Medicine, Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Abstract

AIM:

The present study estimated the prevalence of fear of falling in older adults, and its associations with clinical, functional and psychosocial factors.

METHODS:

Data from the Research Network Frailty in Brazilian Older People, specifically the Rio de Janeiro Study involving participants aged 65 years and older residing in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were analyzed. Fear of falling was assessed by the Brazilian version of Falls Efficacy Scale-International. The following variables were assessed: history of falls, fracture after fall, number of comorbidities, number of medications, hospitalization in the previous year, use of walking support device, functional dependency in activities of daily living (including instrumental activities), hearing and visual impairments, hand grip strength, walking speed, self-rated health, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, living alone, social support, and activity level. Associations were evaluated by multiple logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Among the 742 participants, 51.9% had a fear of falling, which was more prevalent in women and older participants. Fear of falling was associated with a history of one to two falls (odds ratio [OR] 2.18; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.42-3.36), three or more falls (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.10-6.70), use of seven or more medications (OR 1.70, 95%CI 1.04-2.80), hearing impairment (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.10-2.49), functional dependence in activities of daily living (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.07-2.79), diminished gait speed (OR 1.64 95% CI 1.04-2.58), fair self-rated health (OR 1.89, 95% CI, 1.30-2.74), poor/very poor self-rated health (OR 4.92, 95% CI 1.49-16.27) and depressive symptoms (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.07-2.63).

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of fear of falling was high in this population, and was associated with history of falls, use of seven or more medications, hearing impairment, functional dependency in activities of daily living, diminished walking speed, fair and poor/very poor self-rated health and depressive symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

cross-sectional study; elderly; falls; fear of falling; prevalence

PMID:
25869919
DOI:
10.1111/ggi.12477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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