Review| Volume 14, ISSUE 8, P573-577, August 2013

Impact of Fear of Falling in Long Term Care: An Integrative Review


      Long term care elders with fear of falling may restrict their activity resulting in declines in function and excess disability. To further explore this problem, a review of the literature was conducted. The search yielded 26 studies on the epidemiology of fear of falling in nursing homes and assisted living as well as intervention studies in these settings. Fear of falling is common, affecting more than 50% of long term care elders and is associated with negative outcomes, including falls, functional impairments, depression, and poor quality of life. Longitudinal studies are rare. There were few intervention studies, with most testing exercise programs, including balance training, such as t’ai chi, and little research testing other approaches. Few conclusions can be drawn about interventions, as most sample sizes were small and the interventions and measurement varied widely. Additional research is needed to identify long term care residents most in need of intervention, and the best ways to reduce fear of falling and its consequences.


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