Physical and Psychosocial Correlates of Fear of Falling: Among Older Adults in Assisted Living Facilities

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Fear of falling is the most common reported fear among older adults. Nevertheless, little is known about whom among this population develops fear of falling and why. This study aims to identify physical and psychosocial correlates of fear of falling among older adults in assisted living facilities. Data were collected from interviews with 208 residents using measures of fear of falling, physical and social functioning, depression, and state and trait anxiety. Results revealed that 48.6% of the participants had moderate to severe concern about falling. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis revealed that use of a walking device, depression, balance impairment, trait anxiety, female gender, and a previous history of a fall or falls were independent factors associated with fear of falling. It is suggested that improving physical fitness and balance control and increasing one's self-efficacy and sense of control over the environment can decrease these sources of fear among older adults.

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