Stacey Schepens, Ananda Sen, Jane A. Painter, Susan L. Murphy; Relationship Between Fall-Related Efficacy and Activity Engagement in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Meta-Analytic Review. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(2):137–148. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.001156
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. Fear of falling can lead to restricted activity, but little is known about how this fear affects different aspects of people’s lives. This study examined the relationship between fall-related efficacy (i.e., confidence or belief in one’s ability to perform activities without losing balance or falling) and activity and participation.
METHOD. We conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing community-dwelling older adults’ fall-related efficacy to measures of activity or participation.
RESULTS. An examination of 20 cross-sectional and prospective studies found a strong positive relationship between fall-related efficacy and activity (r = .53; 95% CI [.47, .58]). An insufficient number of studies examining fall-related efficacy and participation were available for analysis.
CONCLUSION. Low fall-related efficacy may be an important barrier to occupational engagement for many older adults and warrants careful consideration by occupational therapists. Future research should explore interventions that target fall-related efficacy and examine their effects on activity performance and engagement.
Grahic Jump Location
The strong relationships found between fall-related efficacy and activity mean that occupational therapists have an important role in assessing older adults’ fall-related efficacy issues.
The finding of a differential effect of falls self-efficacy versus balance confidence indicates a potential need for occupational therapists to assess the two constructs separately in older adults.
Interventions addressing balance confidence and falls self-efficacy separately may prove beneficial and may require different strategies.
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