Background: Fear of falling has significant adverse physical and psychological effects for the community-dwelling older adult. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess fear of falling in community-dwelling older adults and explore participant perceptions of fear of falling assessments and interventions. Methods: A mixed methods case study was utilized to gain an in-depth understanding of older adults' perceptions. It consisted of quantitative data collection by objective measures and qualitative data collection by four individual in-depth interviews. A sample of four community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older and living in Orlando, Florida, completed the study in their home environment. To combine quantitative and qualitative data for each participant, a case-specific analysis was used, resulting in narratives with a storytelling approach aiming to explore each participant independently. This was followed by a cross-case analysis to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the participants in relation to one another. Results: Four themes emerged: 1) Feedback from an objective measure is valuable; 2) Family experiences with fear of falling drive personal interventions; 3) Fundamental assessments for fear of falling are missing, and 4) Fluctuating definitions of "fear" contribute to difficulty in assessments and interventions. Conclusion: Clear perceptual themes developed to provide a comprehensive understanding of community-dwelling older adults' perceptions of fear of falling assessments and interventions. Future research is needed to determine how to best combine feedback-oriented assessments with established interventions, such as exercise. Standardization of a subjective measure for fear of falling to use in combination with objective measures is also needed.
Keywords: assessment, intervention, fear of falling, older adults, community-dwelling, mixed methods
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Length of Campus-only Access
Cappleman, Amanda S., "Fear of Falling Assessment and Interventions in Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Mixed Methods Case Study" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 567.