Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Michelle Gray

Reader

Nicholas Greene

Second Reader

Paul Calleja

Abstract

Context: More than one third of individuals 65 and older fall each year. Approximately 85% of these falls occur in the homes of independent older adults. Falls can lead to an increased fear of falling, defined as a pervasive concern that a fall may occur. Fear of falling can decrease quality of life due to a lower sense of well-being, limiting mobility, and reduction of social interaction. Reduction in activity can result in a sedentary lifestyle and poor balance which increases the risk of falling. Fifty percent of women 75 years and older participate in no physical activity beyond activities of daily living. Older women, on average, participate in half the amount of moderate and vigorous activity as young women. Activity and education based programs have been shown to increase balance confidence in all participants independent of the program they participated in.The aim of the intervention utilized in this study was to decrease fear of falling in elderly women and improve their overall quality of life. Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine how an educational intervention that utilized balance training and home safety assessment would impact fear of falling in elderly women at different activity levels based on the results from activPAL technology. Setting: All subject were tested at Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, AR for all assessments. Participants: Eight older women; 3 in the high activity group, 2 in the moderate activity group, and 3 in the low activity group. The mean age was 79.1 years, the mean height was 161.7 cm, and the mean weight was 61.1 kg. Methods: The participants were recruited from Butterfield Trail senior living community. The participants were given a health history questionnaire and informed consent. The pre-assessment given was the Falls Efficacy Scale- International (FES-I) to determine the participants’ fear of falling. activPAL monitors were given to each participant to wear for 7 days to determine activity level. A one-on-one education session was conducted with each participant after activity assessment. A post FES-I assessment was given after completion of the education session. Main Outcome Measures: A dependent t-test was conducted to compare pre and post FES-I scores. Differences between groups (group x time) were assessed using a repeated measures ANOVA. Statistical significance was set at α = .05. Correlational analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between fear of falling and activity level Results: Statistical significance was not found in any of the outcome measures. Mean FES-I scores dependent t-test: pre 25.5 + 5.9, post 30.5 + 7.2, mean difference -1.9, p-value .58. Repeated measures ANOVA: low activity pre 27.7 + 3.5 post 32.3 + 8.1, moderate activity pre 31.0 + 1.4 post 33.5 + 6.4, high activity pre 19.0 + 3.0 post 26.7 + 7.6. Correlational analysis: a moderate correlation (-.63) was found between activity level and fear of falling. Conclusion: The education intervention utilized in this study that used a variety of materials and techniques was not effective in reducing fear of falling in elderly women across all activity levels.

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