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Covariates of fear of falling and associated activity curtailment


Author: Howland, J., Lachman, M. E., Peterson, E. W., Cote, J., Kasten, L., Jette, A.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1998


With a sample survey (N = 266) of elderly adults residing in six housing developments in Massachusetts, we used logistic regression to: (a) identify covariates of fear of falling among all subjects and (b) identify covariates of activity curtailment among the subset of subjects who were afraid of falling. Fifty-five percent of respondents were afraid of falling; of those who were afraid, 56% had curtailed activity due to this fear. Factors associated with fear of falling were: being female, having had previous falls, and having fewer social contacts. Factors associated with activity curtailment among those who were afraid were: not communicating about falls; having less social support; and knowing someone who had fallen. Falls history appears an important contributor to fear of falling, whereas the impact of this fear on activities appears more a function of social support. These findings suggest different strategies for the primary and secondary prevention of fear of falling.

Further Details

Full Title: Gerontologist
Pages: 549-555
Volume: 38
Issue: 5
Accession Number: 12.3.03
Keywords: North America, older, safety improvement
Reads: 177