Person-environment fit predicts falls in older adults better than the consideration of environmental hazards only

Iwarsson, Susanne, Horstmann, Vibeke, Carlsson, Gunilla, Oswald, Frank and Wahl, Hans-Werner (2009) Person-environment fit predicts falls in older adults better than the consideration of environmental hazards only. Clinical Rehabilitation, 23 6: 558-567. doi:10.1177/0269215508101740


Author Iwarsson, Susanne
Horstmann, Vibeke
Carlsson, Gunilla
Oswald, Frank
Wahl, Hans-Werner
Title Person-environment fit predicts falls in older adults better than the consideration of environmental hazards only
Journal name Clinical Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0269-2155
1477-0873
Publication date 2009-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0269215508101740
Volume 23
Issue 6
Start page 558
End page 567
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To test the hypotheses that the empirical consideration of objective person-environment fit in the home environment is a stronger predictor of indoor falls among older adults than the assessment of environmental barriers only, and that perceived aspects of home play a role as predictors for falls.

Design: Survey study with data collectionat home visits, followed up by self-reports about falls at home visits one year later. Setting: Urban districts in Sweden, Germany, Latvia. Participants: Eight hundred and thirty-four single-living, older adults (75-89 years), in ordinary housing.

Measurements: An assessment of objective person-environment fit in the home environment (housing enabler), a self-rating of the perceived home environment (usability in my home) and retrospective self-reports on indoor falls.

Results: The participants reporting falls tended to be frailer than the non-fallers. The number of environmental barriers in the home was similar for the fallers and non-fallers; the magnitude of person-environment fit problems was higher among the fallers. The person-environment fit problem variable was a stronger fall predictor (odds ratio (OR) = 1.025; P=0.037) than number of environmental barriers (n.s.), even after controlling for confounders. Fallers also experienced lower usability of their home.

Conclusion: The results suggest that much of the inconclusiveness of the data in the relationship between environmental hazards and falls in the previous falls literature could be due to the neglect of person-environment fit assessment. The effectiveness of environmental interventions based on the notion of person-environment fit compared with traditional home hazard checklists remains to be tested. 
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 Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 05 Jul 2014, 01:01:03 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work