Masters Thesis

Is There a Relationship between Balance Efficacy, Fear of Falling and Outcomes on a Performance Based Balance Assessment?

Objective: the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between two distinct psychological measures of fall risk, Fear of Falling and Balance Efficacy, and a multidimensional evaluation of balance performance (Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) scale). Participants: a sample of independently functioning older adults residing in the Orange County area of California participated in this study (N = 67, mean age ± SD, 71.1 ± 7.5 y). Methods: participants completed the Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) and the Balance Efficacy Scale (BES) followed by the Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) scale on two different testing days that were no more than two days apart. Results: multiple regression analysis indicated that the FES-I and BES explained 35.4% of the variance in balance performance scores. The BES significantly predicted balance performance scores while the FES-I did not reach significance. Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficients indicated there was a moderately negative correlation between the FES-I and balance performance, a moderately positive correlation between the BES and balance performance, and a moderately negative correlation between the BES and FES-I. Conclusions: the findings suggest that balance efficacy is a better predictor of an individual’s balance performance and should therefore be routinely assessed to better understand its role in predicting fall risk.

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