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Falls in Community-dwelling Adults Aged 50 Years and Older

Prevalence and Contributing Factors

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Abstract:

The current descriptive study examined the prevalence, selected fall-related contributing factors, and ramifications of falls over 4 yrs in 663 community-dwelling adults older than 50 yrs. The current findings demonstrated an appreciably higher percentage of falls (62.1%) than the national average (33%). Unlike in past studies, those 50 to 60 yrs old reported more falls than those in the other three age categories (61–70, 71–80, and 81+ yrs). The current population reported a higher percentage of injuries from falls (80.3%) and sustained more cuts and bruises than reported in previous studies. Walking was cited as the most frequent cause of falling among both genders and all age groups. Significant findings were as follows: (1) women fell more often than men in the 71- to 80-yr-old group (2 p value < 0.005); (2) women informed others about falls more often than men (2 p value = 0.002); (3) falls occurred more often among those who lived alone (2 p value = 0.0005); (4) more women living alone fell compared with men (2 p value = 0.0005); (5) women who lived alone fell more often than women who lived with others (2 p value = 0.023); (6) those living alone were more likely to tell a friend(s) whereas those living with others were more likely to tell a relative(s) about the fall(s) (2 p value = 0.012); and (7) about 36% of respondents who indicated a fear of falling self-restricted engagement in activities (2 p value < 0.005).

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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