Background and Purpose. The fear of falling can have detrimental effects on physical function in the elderly population, but the relationship between a persons' confidence in the ability to maintain balance and actual balance ability and functional mobility is not known. The extent to which balance confidence can be explained by balance performance, functional mobility, and sociodemographic, psychosocial, and health-related factors was the focus of this study.
Subjects. The subjects were 50 community-dwelling elderly people, aged 65 to 95 years (X̄=81.7, SD=6.7).
Methods. Balance was measured using the Berg Balance Scale. Functional mobility was measured using the Timed Up & Go Test. The Activities-specific Balance Scale was used to assess balance confidence. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation, multiple regression analysis, and t tests.
Results. Fifty-seven percent of the variance in balance confidence could be explained by balance performance. Functional mobility and subject characteristics examined in this study did not contribute to balance confidence.
Discussion and Conclusion. Balance performance alone is a strong determinant of balance confidence in community-dwelling elderly people.
Hatch, Janine; Gill-Body, Kathleen M.; and Portney, Leslie G., "Determinants of Balance Confidence in Community-Dwelling Elderly People" (2003). All PTHMS Faculty Publications. 27.