Predisposing factors for occasional and multiple falls in older Australians who live at home

Aust J Physiother. 2004;50(3):153-9. doi: 10.1016/s0004-9514(14)60153-7.


This study, which was part of a larger study on the Health Status of Older People conducted in Melbourne, Australia, aimed to identify factors that discriminate between multiple and occasional falls amongst older people living at home. It used a survey of 1000 Australians aged 65 years and over. Subjects were classified as multiple fallers (two or more falls in the past year), occasional fallers (one fall in the past year), or non-fallers. Twenty-nine percent of older people who lived at home reported falling once or more in the previous 12 months. Nearly 20% of older people fell once in the previous 12 months and just under 10% fell more than once. Occasional fallers were more likely to be women (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.45), to have reported back pain (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.16) and were nearly twice as likely to have more than three medical conditions compared to non-fallers (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.90). Multiple fallers were also more likely to be women (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.51). More multiple fallers (17%) than occasional fallers (9%) reported being very afraid of falling. Intervention strategies should take into account these differing predisposing factors for multiple and occasional falls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Recurrence
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution