Fear of Falling and Associated Variables in Community-Dwelling Elderly
American Journal of Applied Psychology
Volume 6, Issue 6, November 2017, Pages: 153-157
Received: Jun. 10, 2017; Accepted: Sep. 22, 2017; Published: Nov. 2, 2017
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Akulwar Isha S., Department of Neurosciences Physiotherapy, K. J. Somaiya College of Physiotherapy, Mumbai, India
Dohadwala Sakina, Department of Physiotherapy, K. J. Somaiya College of Physiotherapy, Mumbai, India
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The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of fear of falling and its association with fall, avoidance of activity, balance deficits and risk of fall in community-dwelling older individuals. It was a cross-sectional study conducted in general community setting. Fifty community-dwelling elderly (mean age of 77.98 ± 2.83years), ambulatory, without any severe medical conditions participated in the study. Main outcome measures of the study were fear of falling (FOF), fall and activity avoidance assessed through an interview-based questionnaire; balance assessed using Berg Balance Scale (BBS); balance confidence assessed using Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale. FOF and associated avoidance of activity was reported by 60% and 52% of the elderly respectively. In subjects reporting FOF, 76% were fallers, 44% being non-fallers. BBS score of the subjects reporting FOF was significantly lower (42.7 ± 10.12) than the subjects without FOF (53.65 ± 3.51). Also, the subjects with FOF had a score below 46, the cut-off point for predicting risk of falling. In subjects having FOF, 56.66% had low risk of falls and 43.33% had medium risk of falls whereas all the subjects with no fear of fall had low risk of falls. Subjects FOF reported a significantly lower balance confidence on ABC scale as compared to subjects without FOF. Thus, it is concluded that FOF and associated avoidance of activity are highly prevalent in the community-dwelling older people. FOF is significantly associated with fall/s, balance deficits with an increased fall risk, avoidance of activity and low balance confidence in doing activities of daily living. FOF can be considered as a significant health problem of equal importance to a fall. This study highlights the importance of identifying FOF and addressing factors related to it in the rehabilitation of the elderly.
Fear of Fall, Avoidance of Activities, Balance Confidence, Elderly
To cite this article
Akulwar Isha S., Dohadwala Sakina, Fear of Falling and Associated Variables in Community-Dwelling Elderly, American Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 6, No. 6, 2017, pp. 153-157. doi: 10.11648/j.ajap.20170606.13
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