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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 469; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050469

Prospective Study on the Impact of Fear of Falling on Functional Decline among Community Dwelling Elderly Women

1
Department of Nursing, Korea National University of Transportation, 61 Daehak-ro, Jeungpyeong-gun Chungbuk 27909, Korea
2
Department of Nursing, Mokpo National University, 1666 Yeongsan-ro, Cheonggye-myeon, Muan-gun, Jeollanam-do 534-729, Korea
3
Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [279 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]

Abstract

Fear of falling (FOF) is expected to have effects on functional decline in the elderly. In this study, we examined over 2 years the effect of change in FOF on functional decline in community dwelling elderly. We conducted a secondary analysis using data from elderly women, 70 years of age and older, who participated in the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA). Participants were divided into four categories according to change in FOF between the 2010 and 2012 surveys. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted regarding the effects of changes in FOF on functional decline after controlling for variables as known risk factors for functional decline. Rates of functional decline were highest in the “consistently having FOF” group, whereas they were lowest in the “consistently no FOF” group in both 2010 and 2012. Characteristics independently associated with functional decline were change in FOF, depressive symptoms, low frequency of meeting friends, and fear-induced activity avoidance. Longer exposure to FOF was associated with an increased risk of functional decline. FOF is an important health problem that deserves attention in its own right. Public health approaches for elderly persons should address early detection, prevention, and intervention programs for FOF. View Full-Text
Keywords: fear of falling; functional decline; elderly; disability fear of falling; functional decline; elderly; disability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Choi, K.; Jeon, G.-S.; Cho, S.-I. Prospective Study on the Impact of Fear of Falling on Functional Decline among Community Dwelling Elderly Women. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 469.

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