Abstract

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

Thesis Completion

2019

Semester

Summer

Thesis Chair

Thiamwong, Ladda

Degree

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)

College

College of Nursing

Language

English

Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date

8-1-2020

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