The falls efficacy scale in relation to balance and gait performance for elderly Chinese residents

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The falls efficacy scale in relation to balance and gait performance for elderly Chinese residents


Author: Fung, Shi-wai
Title: The falls efficacy scale in relation to balance and gait performance for elderly Chinese residents
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Falls (Accidents) in old age -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: viii, 67 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: 'Fear of falling' is a term used to represent the loss of confidence in one's balance-related activities. The prevalence of fear of falling among the elderly population is high (43-58%). This fear may result in decreased activity levels due to subjects' self-imposed, although unnecessary, restrictions. A cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the relationship between balance confidence and physical performance in balance and mobility, and level of activity in the elderly. Fifty-two ambulatory care facility residents (aged 71-98) were subjected to three measures of balance and mobility: (1) Berg Balance Scale, (2) Timed Up and Go Test and (3) self-selected gait speed. Subjects' balance confidence in performing activities of daily living was assessed using the original Falls Efficacy Scale (FES) while level of activity was assessed with the Life Space Index. The subjects were grouped into different categories for comparison: (1) fallers and nonfallers, (2) fearful and nonfearful, (3)avoiders and nonavoiders and (4) low FES and high FES. Subjects with low balance confidence (low FES) or subjects who avoided activity due to fear of failing showed a significant decline in their balance and mobility performance and level of activity. Overall, significant associations were found between balance confidence, as measured by the FES, activity level (Life Space Index; r=0.67, p<0.001) and the performance measures [Berg Balance Scale (r=0.67, p<0.001), Timed Up & Go Test (r=-0.56, p<0.001), gait speed (r=0.63, p<0001) and stride length (r=0.65, p< 0.001)]. The association remained significant for subjects living in the Care and Attention unit, who were frail, but not for the more active subjects living in the Old People's Home unit. The FES is a suitable instrument for measuring balance confidence particularly among less active elders. The scale may be most useful in identifying elderly subjects with the potential to develop activity restriction and a decline in functional mobility based on their low balance confidence.

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