Falls risk among a very old home-dwelling population

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2009;27(1):25-30. doi: 10.1080/02813430802588683.


Objective: The aim of this prospective study was to examine risk factors of falling in a very old home-dwelling population.

Design: A prospective study of home-dwelling elderly people.

Methods: Baseline data were collected by home-nursing staff through postal questionnaires and clinical tests. Data on falls were recorded in telephone interviews every other month during a follow-up of 11 months constituting 494 person years (PY). Negative binomial modeling was used to assess fall risk.

Setting: General community.

Subjects: A population sample of home-dwelling subjects aged 85 years or older (n = 555). Main outcome measures. Fall rate and risk factors of falls.

Results: Altogether 512 falls occurred in 273 (49%) subjects, incidence rate 1.03/PY. According to a multivariate model, history of recurrent falling, trouble with vision when moving, use of antipsychotic drug, and feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or fear were independent risk factors for subsequent falls.

Conclusion: Appropriate care of poor vision and feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or fear, and avoidance of use of antipsychotic drugs might be useful in the prevention of falls among the most elderly home-dwellers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls* / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Home Care Services
  • Housing for the Elderly
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision, Ocular / drug effects


  • Psychotropic Drugs