Risk factors of falling among the elderly in Taiwan: a longitudinal study

Hui-Chuan Hsu, Li Jyun Jhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to analyze the prevalence of falls and repeated falls of national elderly samples and to explore the risk factors of falls.
Methods: Data were obtained from the “Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan” conducted in 1996 (n=2,669) and 1999 (n=2,310). The related risk factors of falls included demographic variables, chronic diseases, disability and changes in physical function, depressive symptoms, exercise behavior, and use of assistive devices (walker/sticks or glasses). Logistic regression was used for analysis.
Results: The prevalence of falls was 19.5%, with 12.3% single fall and 7.2% repeated falls. The risk factors of falls included being female, having disability, reduced ADL function, with depressive symptoms, using stick/walker but walking well, and not wearing glasses but not seeing clearly. Among the fallers, 73.8% reported fear of falls, and 45.1% attributed their falls to environmental causes.
Conclusion: Physical and psychological factors as well as environmental factors may cause falls and injuries for elderly. Physicians in the fields of geriatrics or family medicine should pay more and closer attention to the possible risks of their senior patients; home safety and appropriateness of assistive devices for the elderly should be regularly evaluated and carefully maintained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-154
JournalTaiwan Geriatrics & Gerontology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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