THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FALLS AND MENTAL STATE AMONG ELDERLY IN BANGKOK
Keywords:elderly, falls, mental state
This descriptive research aimed to study the situation of falls, mental state, and the relationship between falls and mental health among elderly people in Bangkok. The sample consisted of 396 healthy older adults obtained through multistage randomization and inclusion criteria. The research instruments were questionnaires developed by the researcher about personal information, fall history, and mental state. The content validity index was .97 and reliability coefficient was .892. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were performed for data analysis.
The results found that 1) most participants were female (61.5%) with their average ages equaled 66.95 years old (SD = 4.06 Min-Max = 60 - 95). 2) They were healthy or had fallen no more than 2 times within the last year (35.9%), in which the majority of the participants had fallen 2 times (56.8%). Falls were the leading cause of injury (87.2%). The areas in a house that they had fallen mostly were a living room and a kitchen room (32.4%). Meanwhile, the exterior area with the most falls was the surrounding area of the house (40.1%). The internal causes of falls were dizziness or lightheadedness (37.2%) and the external cause was slipping (84.5%). 3) According to their mental state, it was found that most of them were feeling lonely (71.1%), anxious about an illness (86.9%), and fearful about disabilities (59.3%). The causes affecting the relationship between falls and the mental state were the anxiety about living and caregiver (chi-square = 12.687, p = .000) and the fear about disabilities (chi-square = 4.308, p = .038) at a statistically significant level .05. According to research findings, the elderly should be protected from falls, because those who have fallen are more fearful and anxious than those who have not. In addition, caregivers and families should take an active role in providing psychological support to the elderly with a history of previous falls.
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