A new approach to fear of falls from connections with the post-traumatic stress disorder literature.

Adamczewska, N. and Nyman, S.R., 2018. A new approach to fear of falls from connections with the post-traumatic stress disorder literature. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 4, 2333721418796238.

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DOI: 10.1177/2333721418796238

Abstract

Fear of falling (FoF) is as an important psychological problem amongst older people. While it has been researched for around four decades, paradoxically there is no agreed definition of FoF. Confusion over the definition of fear of falling inhibits current understanding of empirical findings. The objective of this paper is to critique current definitions of FoF and to present a novel theoretical model that aims to resolve theoretical misunderstanding. A narrative review was conducted to present definitions of FoF and concepts often conflated with it including fall-related self-efficacy and anxiety. Then, by drawing on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) theory and research, we present clear distinctions between the concepts. We argue that the presence or absence of anxiety determines whether FoF becomes maladaptive or adaptive respectively, and that enhancing self-efficacy is key to optimizing post-fall psychological recovery. The theoretical clarity presented will aid future research and application of evidence to the benefit older people.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:2333-7214
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:31041
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:23 Jul 2018 13:40
Last Modified:19 Sep 2018 15:32

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