The relationship between fear of falling and functional ability following a multi-component fall prevention program: an analysis of clinical data Academic Article uri icon

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  • Objectives

    The first objective was to evaluate clinical data from a multi-component fall prevention program. The second objective was to explore the relationship between physical function and fear of falling (FoF).


    Adults (N = 287, mean age = 76 years) who participated in the Building Balance Program between 2011-2020 were assessed with five physical function measures and two FoF measures. Repeated measures ANOVA controlling for age and sex were performed to assess change from baseline. Linear regressions were conducted to evaluate how physical function explained variations in FoF.


    There were significant improvements between pre and post-program Berg Balance Scale (BBS) scores (p < .001), Timed-Up and Go (TUG) times (p < .001), 30 second Chair-Stand (30 CST repetitions) (p < .001), Functional Reach (FR) distance (p < .001), gait speed (p < .001), single item-FoF score (p < .001), and short Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I score) (p < .001). After controlling for sex on all regression analyses, age, and pre-program gait speed explained variations in pre-program short FES-I scores (Adjusted R2 = 0.19). Age, pre-program BBS and 30 CST repetitions explained variations in pre-program level of FoF (Adjusted R2 = 0.25). Variations in post-program short FES-I scores (Adjusted R= 0.17) were explained by age, post-program TUG times and FR distance after controlling for age and sex. Robust regressions indicated variations in post-program level of FoF explained by age, post-program TUG and FR distance with a two-way interaction between age and FR.


    A multi-component fall prevention program improved physical function and decreased FoF. A small association between physical function and FoF similar between pre- and post-program conditions was identified.

publication date

  • October 28, 2022