Content » Vol 46, Issue 3

Original report

Fear of falling after hip fracture in vulnerable older persons rehabilitating in a skilled nursing facility

Jan H.M. Visschedijk, Monique A.A. Caljouw, Romke van Balen, Cees M.P.M. Hertogh, Wilco P. Achterberg
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1264


Objective: To identify factors that explain differences in patients with high and low levels of fear of falling after a hip fracture.
Design: Cross-sectional study in 10 skilled nursing facilities in the Netherlands.
Patients: A total of 100 patients aged ≥ 65 years admitted to a skilled nursing facility after a hip fracture.
Methods: Participants were divided into 2 groups; low and high level of fear of falling, based on median Falls Efficacy Score – International. Data relating to factors that might explain fear of falling were collected, including demographic variables, aspects of functioning, psychological factors, and comorbidities. For every factor a univariate logistic regression was conducted. For the multivariate regression model a backward procedure was used in which variables with p < 0. 05 were included.
Results: Walking ability and activities of daily living before fracture, number of complications, activities of daily living after fracture, anxiety and self-efficacy were significantly associated univariately with fear of falling. Multivariate analysis showed that walking ability before fracture (odds ratio (OR) 0. 34, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0. 14–0. 83), activities of daily living after fracture (OR 0. 89, 95% CI 0. 80–0. 99), and anxiety (OR 1. 22, 95% CI 1. 05–1. 42) were independently associated with fear of falling.
Conclusion: Impaired walking ability before fracture, impaired activities of daily living after fracture, and increased anxiety help distinguish between older persons with high and low levels of fear of falling after hip fracture. Because the last 2 factors are modifiable, this information enables the development of specific interventions for older persons with a high level of fear of falling.

Lay Abstract


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