Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Higher Function before Fracture Tied to Falling Fears

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Higher Function before Fracture Tied to Falling Fears

Article excerpt

EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM AAGP 2016

WASHINGTON -- Fear of falling at 12 weeks was associated with poorer functional recovery up to 1 year after hip fracture, particularly if the person had a high level of function before the fracture, a study has shown.

Inherent in this fear is a tendency of the patient to limit his activities, which in turn affects his sense of balance, visual attention, and gait. This leads to an increased risk of further falls, according to Emily Bower, a doctoral candidate who presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

The study included 241 hip fracture patients, three-quarters of whom were female, with an average age of 77 years. All of the patients lived in the community, nearly all were able to participate in basic activities of daily living, and three-quarters could walk without assistance.

Patients were assessed for their level of functionality at week 4, week 12, week 26, and week 52, as well as their fear of falling using the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I).

The investigators found that by week 52, 48% of all patients had reached full recovery of functional status. At week 12, 53% of all patients had FES-I scores indicating a lower fear of falling. …

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