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Am J Prev Med. 2019 May;56(5):747-755. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.11.007. Epub 2019 Mar 16.

Fall Prevention Self-Management Among Older Adults: A Systematic Review.

Author information

1
Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: kschnock@bwh.harvard.edu.
2
School of Nursing, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Adequate self-management could minimize the impact of falls in older adults. The efficacy of fall prevention self-management interventions has been widely studied, yet little is known about why some older adults engage in fall prevention self-management actions and behaviors, whereas others do not. Through a systematic review of fall prevention self-management studies, this study identified characteristics and the personal, social, and environmental factors of older adults who engage in self-management actions and behaviors.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:

Medical and nursing literature related to fall prevention self-management was searched in PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL (1997-2017), and relevant publications were selected by three researchers to assess whether the papers included subject characteristics and their fall prevention self-management actions and behaviors. GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations) was used by the researchers to assess the quality of the included studies and to determine the significance of the extracted characteristics.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS:

Searching literature through 2017, a total of 972 papers were identified, and 28 papers remained after removing those that did not meet inclusion criteria. Nine papers that addressed subject characteristics in relation to the study outcomes were included in a sub-analysis. The authors identified the following characteristics of older adults who participated in fall prevention self-management actions and behaviors: younger males, not living alone and with self-reported good health, having greater fear of falling and high fall prevention self-efficacy, and possessing high motivation for engagement with self-management activities.

CONCLUSIONS:

The systematic literature review revealed the personal characteristics of older adults who engage in fall prevention self-management actions and behaviors.

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