J.G.DE ROZA1, D.W.L.NG1, B.K.MATHEW1, T.JOSE1, L.J.GOH1, C.Y.TAN2
NHG Polyclinics1, Changi General Hospital2
Falls in older adults is a common problem worldwide. Fear of falling (FoF) is a consequence of falls and near falls which has far-reaching implications including functional decline and higher risk of future falls. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with FoF in community-dwelling older adults.
This descriptive cross-sectional study recruited a convenience sample of adults aged 65 and above from four primary care clinics from September 2020 to March 2021. Frailty was determined by the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). FoF was measured using the Short Falls Efficacy Scale–International (Short FES-I); cut-off of 14 and above indicated high FoF. Logistic regression was used to determine effects of sociodemographic factors, multi-morbidity, frailty, history of falls and use of walking aid on high FoF.
Of 360 participants, 21.1% had fallen in the past six months. There were 29.4% categorized as well (CFS 1 to 3), 27.5% pre-frail (CFS 4), 23.9% mildly frail (CFS 5) and 19.2% moderately frail (CFS 6). More than half (60.8%) reported high FoF. Falls, frailty and use of walking aid were significant predictors of high FoF. Participants with history of falls had 2.5 times higher odds of high FoF (p= 0.046). Compared to well older adults, pre-frail, mildly frail and moderately frail older adults had significantly higher odds of high FoF (p<0.001).
FoF is a prevalent and compelling issue in older adults, particularly those with frailty and falls history. Future research should focus on developing and evaluating fall prevention programs that incorporate interventions for FoF.