Perception of Falls and Confidence in Self-Management of Falls among Older Adults
Li, Q.; Mpofu, E.; Yin, C.; Turner, K.W.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(24)
ISSN/ISBN: 1660-4601 PMID: 31835832 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16245054
Objectives: Fall preventive programs aim to reduce risks for mortality from fall-related injuries among older adults. However, the covariation between personal perceptions of falls and factors and confidence of self-management in falls (CSMoF) is still under-studied despite its importance to fall prevention. We aimed to investigate the relative contribution of CSMoF in relation to fall risk self-perceptions while controlling for demographics and self-reported health and functioning. Method: Participants were 691 older adults recruited from Area Agency on Aging at Arlington, Texas (females = 76.1%, mean age = 76.23, SD = 6.44, with chronic condition = 79.5%). They completed measures of physical functioning, CSMoF, fall risk perceptions and fear of falls. Results: Regression analyses indicated that fear of fall was the most predictive factor of CSMoF among older persons, accounting for about 25% of the variance. Physical function measures of age, chronic illnesses of metabolism, sensory impairment, and health status were also significant predictors of the CSMoF, but to a lesser extent than fear of falls and fall perceptions. The interaction of perception of falls and fall experience attenuated CSMoF, with physical functioning limitations. Conclusion: The joint effects of perception of falls and fear of falls likely explain CSMoF among older adults more than physical functional indicators. Fall prevention programs for older adults should prioritize to address modifiable subjective factors of fall perceptions, fear of falls, and CSMoF across health and functioning statuses.