Depressive symptoms in addition to visual impairment, reduced strength and poor balance predict falls in older Taiwanese people

Kwan, Marcella Mun-San, Lin, Sang-I., Close, Jacqueline C. T. and Lord, Stephen R. (2012) Depressive symptoms in addition to visual impairment, reduced strength and poor balance predict falls in older Taiwanese people. Age and Ageing, 41 5: 606-612. doi:10.1093/ageing/afs065


Author Kwan, Marcella Mun-San
Lin, Sang-I.
Close, Jacqueline C. T.
Lord, Stephen R.
Title Depressive symptoms in addition to visual impairment, reduced strength and poor balance predict falls in older Taiwanese people
Journal name Age and Ageing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-0729
1468-2834
Publication date 2012
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/ageing/afs065
Open Access Status
Volume 41
Issue 5
Start page 606
End page 612
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Subject 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
2717 Geriatrics and Gerontology
Abstract Objective: to determine whether depression is an important and independent predictor of falls in community-dwelling older people living in Taiwan.Design: longitudinal study.Setting: five randomly selected villages from Tainan city, Taiwan. Participants and methods: in total, 280 community-dwelling people not taking anti-depressant medication aged 65-91 years (mean age 74.9). Participants completed the Geriatric Depression Scale and underwent a range of sensorimotor, balance and mobility tasks and were then followed up for 2 years with monthly telephone calls to determine falls incidence.Results: of the 260 participants with complete follow-up data, 174 (66.9%) experienced no falls, 51 (19.6%) fell once and 35 (13.5%) fell two or more times. Depressive symptoms were significantly more prevalent in recurrent fallers (40.0%) and once-only fallers (27.5%) compared with non-fallers (16.1%). Negative binomial regression analysis identified depression, poor depth perception, reduced lower limb strength and increased sway as independent and significant predictors of falls.Conclusion: depressive symptoms were found to be common in older Taiwanese people and associated with an increased fall risk. These findings suggest that in addition to implementing approaches to maximise vision, strength and balance, fall prevention strategies should also include interventions to assess and treat depression.
Keyword Accidental falls
Aged
Depression
Muscle strength
Older people
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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