Disentangling the relationship between falls, fear of falling, physical function and walking by applying a socioecological framework to the International Mobility in Aging Study
Keywords:Fall, fear of falls, gerontology, global health, physical function, walking.
The relationships between falls, fear of falling, poor mobility, and PA avoidance occur in a cyclic, multi-directional fashion. Aim: This study investigates the concomitant associations of fall history, fear of falling, and physical performance (SPPB) on physical activity using a cross-national sample of community-dwelling older adults from middle and high-income countries.
Linear mixed-effects models looking at the influence of individual and environmental factors were used and participants were nested within each study site.
Estimated walking minutes was 52% lower for those with low SPPB compared to high SPPB, 20% lower for those with medium level fear of falling compared to low levels, and 50% lower for those with high level fear of falling compared to low levels.
An individual’s fear of falling and physical performance may be important to consider when making PA recommendations to older adults regardless of sex, age, and environment.
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