SURVEY OF PERSONAL AND HOME ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING FALLS AMONG OLDER ADULTS AGED ≥60 YEARS IN NORTHERN THAILAND

Authors

  • Archin Songthap Department of Community Health, Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University
  • Pattama Suphunnakul Department of Community Health, Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.
  • Jutarat Rakprasit Department of Environmental Health and Occupational Health, Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.

Keywords:

home environmental management, falls, older adults, lower northern Thailand

Abstract

Falls among older people may increase their risk for morbidity and mortality. In this study, we aimed to determine personal and home environmental factors affecting falls among adults aged ≥60 years in Phitsanulok Province, northern Thailand, in order to inform programs to reduce the risk of falls in the study population. Subjects were recruited by multi-stage sampling technique. Inclusion criteria for subjects were: 1) being aged ≥60 years, 2) being able to read and write Thai, 3) living in the same area for at least 1 year and 4) being willing to participate in the study. Exclusion criteria for subjects were: 1) having an illness on the date of data collection and 2) being unable to complete the questionnaire. The minimum number of subjects calculated to be needed for the study was 328. Each subject was asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. Frequencies, means and standard deviations (SD) were used to describe subjects and studied factors. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine significant associations between studied factors and falls. A total of 328 subjects were included in the study: 56.4% male. The mean (±SD) age of study subjects was 72 (±8) (range: 60-97) years. The number (%) of subjects who had a history of a fall was 58 (17.7%). On multivariate analysis the factors significantly associated with falls were: female sex (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.53; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20-8.34, p<0.001), being aged ≥80 years (aOR = 7.09; 95% CI: 2.97-16.90, p<0.001), not having sufficient light on the stairs, in the rest room and at doors (aOR = 5.40; 95% CI: 1.56-18.96, p = 0.008), not keeping the corridors of the house clear of objects (aOR = 4.59; 95% CI: 1.41-14.90, p = 0.011) and having different floor levels between the inside and the outside the house (aOR = 3.77; 95% CI: 1.31-10.82, p = 0.014). In summary, a large proportion of study subjects had a history of a fall and the factors significantly associated with falls were being female, being aged ≥80 years, having insufficient lighting in high fall-risk areas, having cluttered corridors and having different floor levels inside and outside the house. We conclude there were modifiable fall risks in the study population. Further studies are needed on how to educate the public regarding these factors and if modifying these factors will result in a decrease in the number of falls in the study population.

Author Biographies

  • Pattama Suphunnakul , Department of Community Health, Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.

    Pattama Suphunnakul is an associate professor at the Department of Community Health, Faculty of Public Health.

  • Jutarat Rakprasit , Department of Environmental Health and Occupational Health, Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.

    Jutarat Rakprasit is a lecturer at the Department of Environmental Health and Occupational Health, Faculty of Public Health.

Downloads

Published

2023-05-18

Similar Articles

1-10 of 185

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.