Older community-dwelling people's comparative optimism about falling: A population-based telephone survey

Joanne Dollard, Christopher Barton, Jonathan Newbury, Deborah Turnbull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim: To determine whether older community-dwelling people underestimate their own perceived chance of falling compared with that of other older people (comparative optimism), and whether a history of falls is associated with comparative optimism. Method: A sample of community-dwelling South Australians aged ≥65 years (n= 389) completed a computer-assisted telephone interview about their 12-month fall history, their perceived chance of falling and their rating of other older people's chance of falling. Results: Respondents were comparatively optimistic about their chance of falling (Z =-8.1, P < 0.001). Those who had fallen in the last 12 months had a lower comparative optimism score (Z =-3.0, P < 0.003). Conclusion: As older people were comparatively optimistic about their likelihood of falling, they might not find fall prevention messages relevant. When older people present with a fall, clinicians could provide fall prevention information consistent with how older people present themselves.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-40
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
    Volume32
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

    Keywords

    • Accidental falls
    • Aged
    • Cross-sectional survey
    • Health knowledge
    • Risk assessment

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