Accumulation of sensory difficulties predicts fear of falling in older women
Viljanen, A., Kulmala, J., Rantakokko, M., Koskenvuo, M., Kaprio, J., & Rantanen, T. (2013). Accumulation of sensory difficulties predicts fear of falling in older women. Journal of aging and health, 25 (5), 776-791. doi:10.1177/0898264313494412
Published inJournal of aging and health
DisciplineGerontologia ja kansanterveys
© The Authors (2013). This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and defenitive form has been published by Sage.
Objectives: To explore whether the accumulation of sensory difficulties predicts fear of falling (FOF), and whether the traits correlate with each other regardless of familial factors. Methods: Self-reported hearing, vision and balance difficulties, and FOF were assessed using structured questionnaires at the baseline and after a 3-year follow-up in 63- to 76-year-old women (n = 434). Results: Among the women without FOF at baseline (n = 245), 41% reported FOF at follow-up. Increasing numbers of sensory difficulties at baseline predicted higher incidence of FOF. The relationship between accumulated sensory difficulties and FOF was not mediated by familial factors. Discussion: The accumulation of multiple sensory difficulties may hinder older people from receiving compensatory information about body position and environment, thus jeopardizing a person’s confidence in maintaining a balanced position. Regular screening of sensory functions followed by appropriate actions may prevent the development of FOF, and thus contribute to prevention of falls and promotion of healthy aging. ...
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