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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The relationship between risk factors for falling and the quality of life in older adults

Ayse Ozcan1*, Hulya Donat2, Nihal Gelecek1, Mehtap Ozdirenc1 and Didem Karadibak1

Author Affiliations

1 Dokuz Eylül University School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, 35340 Inciralti-Izmir, Turkey

2 T.C. Emekli Sandigi Narlidere Nursing Home (The Izmir Geriatric Centre), 35340 Narlidere-Izmir, Turkey

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BMC Public Health 2005, 5:90  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-90

Published: 26 August 2005

Abstract

Background

Falls are one of the major health problems that effect the quality of life among older adults. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between quality of life (Short Form-12) and the risk factors of falls (balance, functional mobility, proprioception, muscle strength, flexibility and fear of falling) in older adults.

Methods

One hundred sixteen people aged 65 or older and living in the T.C. Emekli Sandigi Narlidere nursing home participated in the study. Balance (Berg Balance test), functional mobility (Timed Up and Go), proprioception (joint position sense), muscle strength (back/leg dynamometer), flexibility (sit and reach) and fear of falling (Visual Analogue Scale) were assessed as risk factors for falls. The quality of life was measured by Short Form-12 (SF-12).

Results

A strong positive correlation was observed between Physical Health Component Summary of SF-12, General Health Perception and balance, muscle strength. Proprioception and flexibility did not correlated with SF-12 (p > 0.05). There was negative correlation between Physical Health Component Summary of SF-12, General Health Perception and fear of falling, functional mobility (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

We concluded that the risk factors for falls (balance, functional mobility, muscle strength, fear of falling) in older adults are associated with quality of life while flexibility and proprioception are not.