Lucy Zhao, assistant professor for the School of Nursing, is celebrating the publication of her manuscript, “A Comprehensive Assessment of Risk Factors for Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults” to the peer reviewed Journal of Gerontological Nursing.
Zhao’s manuscript, which was also a featured article in the October issue of the journal, is a correlational study to explore risk factors of falls in community-dwelling older adults, which are older adults who are living in the community on their own rather than in nursing homes. She chose this area of study as it is a major health concern in older adults because falls can result in reduced functional abilities, hospitalization, institutionalization, loss of independence, and decreased quality of life. Zhao performed a statistical data analysis to determine which factors increase the probability of falls for these older adults.
As a result, she found that older adults who were homebound experienced impaired balance, arthritis, depression, or anxiety and therefore, were at a much higher risk for falls. Homebound older adults were 50 percent more likely to experience a fall than non-homebound individuals. Following homebound individuals, impaired balance was the strongest correlation for individuals experiencing falls. Zhao concluded that this research can assist community health or home health nurses in assessing risk factors and to plan fall prevention programs for older adults using evidence-based prevention strategies.
Read the full manuscript, “A Comprehensive Assessment of Risk Factors for Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults”