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Increasing Physical Activity, Function Can Decrease Fall Fears

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 -- Enhancing physical activity level and function can decrease the fear of falling among elderly patients, according to a study published online Aug. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

JuHee Lee, Ph.D., R.N., from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues investigated demographic characteristics, comorbidities, medication use, fall history, level of physical activity, activities of daily living, mobility, muscle strength, and a fear of falling among a convenience sample of 108 geriatric outpatients.

The researchers found that 33.3 percent of participants reported experiencing at least one fall in the past year. Marital status and the use of antipsychotics were significantly associated with falls. Only benign prostatic hypertrophy and polypharmacy were significantly related with the fear of falling. The number of comorbidities, level of physical activity, activities of daily living, and mobility were predictors of a fear of falling in the regression model. Medication use was marginally significant in the model.

"Increasing physical activity, functional fitness, and physical independence is important to decrease the fear of falling, and to encourage active and healthy lives in older adults," conclude the authors.

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Posted: August 2017