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Saúde e Sociedade

Print version ISSN 0104-1290

Abstract

RICCI, Natalia Aquaroni; GONCALVES, Daniele de Faria Figueiredo; COIMBRA, Ibsen Bellini  and  COIMBRA, Arlete Maria Valente. Factors associated with the history of falls of elderly assisted by the Family Health Program. Saude soc. [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.4, pp. 898-909. ISSN 0104-1290.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902010000400016.

This study aims at identifying the sociodemographic, clinical-functional and psycho-cognitive factors associated with the history of falls of community-dwelling elderly individuals assisted by Programa Saúde da Família (PSF - Family Health Program). The sample comprised 96 elderly subjects equally divided into three groups according to the report of falls that occurred during the past year, as follows: without falls, one fall or recurrent falls. There were no significant differences between groups in relation to sociodemographic data. The non-faller group presented less complaints about pain (p=0.012) and dizziness (p=0.003), and less near-falls reports (p=0.003) when compared to the faller groups. Besides, it presented better mobility (p<0.001) and functional capacity (p<0.001) in comparison with the same groups. In the psycho-cognitive assessment, recurrent fallers showed higher depressed mood score (p=0.009) and higher cognitive impairment score (p=0.040) compared to non-fallers. The occurrence of falls must be considered a significant agent that negatively affects elders' life. This is why its causative as well as impeditive factors must be accurately identified, so that professionals can effectively prevent falls or their debilitating consequences.

Keywords : Aged; Falls; Family Health Program; Older adults' health.

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