Psychosocial risk factors associated with falls among Chinese community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong

TitlePsychosocial risk factors associated with falls among Chinese community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLeung AC, Chi I, Lou VQW, Chan KS
JournalHealth & Social Care in the Community
ISBN Number1365-2524

This study examined the relationship between psychosocial factors and falls among community-dwelling older adults in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China. The study included 1573 adults aged 60 or above who lived at home and who were applying for long-term care services. These participants were part of a large cross-sectional survey carried out between 2003 and 2004 in which they completed the Hong Kong Chinese version of the Resident Assessment Instrument-Home Care (RAI-HC) assessment. Of those persons who were surveyed, 516 (32.8%, 95% CI 30.5% to 35.2%) had fallen in the previous 90 days. Bivariate analyses showed that five psychosocial factors (depressive symptoms, fear of falling, a decline in social activities, the number of hours of informal care support during weekdays and living alone) were significantly associated with falls (P < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis showed living alone (odds ratio (OR) = 0.62; 95% CI 0.44 to 0.86) was the only psychosocial factor significantly associated with falls, after adjusting for the known significant factors related to falls. It was also found that more elders who lived with others had environmental hazards than those who lived alone (71.0% vs 29.0%, 03C72 = 4.80, P = 0.028). These findings suggested that living with others may not be as safe as we assume. Interventions to increase awareness of home safety and to seek co-operation with family members in falls prevention are recommended. Fall preventive strategies should be educated to family members who are living with frail older adults. On the other hand, Chinese older adults who live alone often receive support from relatives or friends. Social support seems to be crucial to prevent them from falls and this measure is recommended to be continued in the community.