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Title: Fear of falling and associated activity restriction in older adults : an exploration of anxiety, coping style and beliefs about health and ageing
Author: Burdon-Cooper, Caroline
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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Research into the prediction of falls in elderly people has demonstrated the significance of psychological factors, which are assumed to contribute to a falls related syndrome. This syndrome consists of avoidance of activity, loss of confidence in movement, and the acknowledgement of fear or concern about future falls. This can result in considerable 'excess disability' in the form of increased susceptibility to anxiety and depression, and the likelihood of further physical decline through inactivity. This study examined the relationship between fear of falling, associated activity restriction and a number of psychological variables such as anxiety, coping style and health beliefs in a sample of older adults who were attending falls prevention clinics. The aims of the study were to explore alternative conceptualisations of the fear of falling syndrome, to investigate the impact of health misconceptions and negative views of ageing, and to examine coping in this group. Conditional upon receiving informed consent, 30 participants were interviewed during their attendance at two geriatric day hospitals. Information was gathered from participants using a structured interview and measures of anxiety, coping, depression, worry, ageing morale and falls confidence. Information on physical mobility and medical comorbidity was gathered with consent from patients' medical notes. Results highlighted the presence of considerable levels of depression and anxiety within the sample. Association was demonstrated between beliefs about uncontrollable age -related decline and levels of activity restriction in the sample. Less anxious fallers displayed greater use of problem-focused coping strategies than did anxious fallers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available