Fall risk factors in community-dwelling elderly people

  • Astrid Bergland

Abstract

Falls are a common and serious problem for older adults. Approximately one-third of older communitydwelling people fall at least once a year. The main purpose of this paper is to present risk factors for fall in older people living at home. The databases used for identifying documentation of risk factors are Cinahl, Eric, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Medline, Psycinfo and dissertation. Many psychosocial and medical conditions and impairment of sensorimotor function, balance and gait have been shown in large epidemiological studies to be strongly associated with falls. Several of the risk factors are interrelated. The intrinsic-extrinsic distinction seem to be an oversimplification. A better understanding of falls is usually obtained when examining the person in association with the environmental factors. Advanced age, history of falls, ADL limitations, impaired gait and mobility, visual impairment, reduced sensation, muscular weakness, poor reaction time, impaired cognition, diseases as stroke, use of psychoactive medication and use of many medications are risk factors shown to be strongly associated with falls. This means recommendation of multifactorial fall risk assessment must incorporate a range of physiological and mental tests in addition to assessing balance and gait as well as taking multiple chronic diseases and medications into account. These finding underscore the importance of multidimensional fall intervention with special focus on modifiable risk factors
Published
2012-11-29
How to Cite
Bergland, A. (2012). Fall risk factors in community-dwelling elderly people. Norsk Epidemiologi, 22(2). https://doi.org/10.5324/nje.v22i2.1561