Date of Award

1-1-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Associate Professor Ed Helmes

Second Advisor

Dr Christopher Sonn

Abstract

The social, emotional and economic impact of falling in the elderly population is significant. Falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths and hospitalisation amongst people aged 65 years and older, a major factor in their morbidity and mortality rates. Post fall sequelae can have major ramifications that include reduction or avoidance of activities, attributable to an enduring fear of future falls. Twenty-three older people who had fallen in the community were located via hospital records and invited to participate in the study. Subjective accounts of the impact of falling and sustaining a hip fracture were obtained by means of open response interviews of ten older people (mean age 82). Qualitative analysis identified themes relating to self-concept, social support and self-efficacy. There is strong empirical evidence that self- efficacy predicts behavior and functioning following hip-fracture whereby low confidence generally leads to avoidance of activity. This was supported in the present study. Reduced mobility can have serious consequences for the health status of the elderly and actually increases the likelihood of falling.

Included in

Geriatrics Commons

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