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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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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