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Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Roger Katz

First Committee Member

Ken Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Barry Barmann

Abstract

Falls are one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in older people. Similarly, a fear of falling is extremely common in the elderly, with prevalence estimates upward of 90%. A fear of falling is associated with unnecessary activity restriction, avoidance, distress, an increased risk of falling, and a reduced quality of life. For all of these reasons, efforts to treat fear of falling and promote fall prevention are needed. In the present study, I investigated the effects of viewing a 15 min educational video about fall prevention on fear of falling and fall self efficacy in the elderly. While the video was developed to educate older individuals about practical steps they could take to avoid falling, the effects of the video on fear of falling and fall self-efficacy had not been investigated up to this point. Participants in the study consisted of 74 men and women over the age of 70 years who were recruited from several senior citizen groups. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (a) exposure to the video followed by a brief discussion, (b) exposure to the video alone, and (c) a waitlist control group. Measurements were taken 1 week before viewing the video and immediately after viewing the video. The dependent variables were scores on two self-report measures: The Falls Efficacy Scale and the Survey of Activities and Fear of Falling in the Elderly. Data were analyzed using a 2X3 ANOVA. Results showed no significant interaction effects, however a significant effect for trials was found for the Falls Efficacy Scale. Possible reasons for these findings were discussed.

Pages

40

ISBN

9780542880902

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