Published: 06-09-2023 12:52 | Updated: 06-09-2023 12:53

Fear of falling increases risk of injurious falls

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A study by five NVS researchers published in The Journal of American Medical Directors Association, shows that fear of falling can increase the risk of injurious falls in older adults, especially for those with no apparent physiological risk of falling.

What does the study show?

The study shows that older adults worried about falling can be at risk for injurious falls. This especially clear among persons below 70 years of age and those not showing impaired balance according to single-leg stance tests. The results indicate that fear of falling can pose a particular risk for injurious falls among older adults with no apparent physiological risk of falling.

Why are the results important? 

Knowledge about to what extent and for whom fear of falling could pose a risk or be an adaptive adjustment for an increased physiological risk of falling, can be used to individualize and improve fall preventing measures.

How was the study carried out?

Persons 60 years of age or older were asked if they were afraid of falling and were then followed-up regarding injurious falls over a five-year period. In total, 1 281 persons from the SNAC-K study (Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen) were included.

What is the next step in your research?

We are, among other things, interested in the connections between different measures of self-rated health and fall risk, as well as if fear of falling can affect movement patterns in older adults.


Association Between Concerns About Falling and Risk of Injurious Falls in Older Adults: The Role of Balance Impairment.
Welmer AK, Frisendahl N, Beridze G, Trevisan C, Calderón-Larrañaga A
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2023 Aug;():