Falls, Fear of Falling, and Activity Avoidance due to Fear of Falling among Thai Community-dwelling Older Adults living in Suburban Chiang Mai Thailand
Keywords:falls, fear of falling, activity avoidance, older adults, suburban
This cross-sectional descriptive study aimed to: (1) examine the prevalence of falls, fear of falling, and activity avoidance due to fear of falling; and (2) investigate factors correlated to falls and fear of falling in Thai community-dwelling older adults living in suburban Chiang Mai.
Participants were 142 adults aged 60 years and over who volunteered to participate in the study. Data were collected using interview. Instruments included demographic questionnaires, a Mini-Mental State Examination-Thai, history of falls, the Fear of Falling Rating Scale, the Fear
of Falling Questionnaire, the Falls Efficacy Scale-International, the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale, the Geriatric Anxiety Scale-Ten-item, and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Descriptive statistics (univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression) were
used to analyze data. Most participants were female (73.90%) with a mean age of 70.69 years (SD. = 7.44). About 32.60% of participants reported that they had fallen in the previous years. Most of the participants reported that they had fear of falling (76.10%) and 58.50% of participants reported that they had restricted their activities owing to fear of falling. Multivariate binary logistic regression revealed that a model containing visual impairment, fear of falling, and number of medications used was statistically significantly associated with falling and could explain 73.40% [X2(4, n = 139) = 14.96, p<.01] of the variance in falling. Only fear of falling (B = -1.28, p<.01) had a statistically significant contribution to the model. In terms of fear of falling, it was found that a model composed of females, having a history of falls in the previous years, having anxiety, and having high level of SPPB could explain 80.1% [X2 (4, n = 141) = 22.80, p<.01] of the variance in fear of falling. Each
of the variables, female (B = 1.30, p<.01), having a history of falls in the previous years (B = -1.47, p<.01), and having anxiety (B = 1.31, p<.05) had statistically significant contributions to the model. The results of this study might be used as a guideline to assess factors related to falls and fear
of fall, and to design a program to prevent falls and reduce fear of falling among older adults
living in suburban areas.
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