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Perceived functional visual impairment and risk of falling in a non-institutionalized elderly population in Sweden
School of Social and Health Sciences, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.
General Practice and Public Health, Halland County Council, Halmstad, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
School of Social and Health Sciences, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.
2012 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 22, no Suppl. 2, p. 106-106Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Falls and fall injuries among the elderly population is an important public health issue today since ageing is an independent risk factor of falling and because of an increasing elderly population. Falls and fall injuries are associated with high healthcare costs but also considerable suffering for the individual. According to the Swedish National Health Institute the costs of deterioration in quality of life caused by accidental falls are calculated to be twice as high as the direct costs such as medical treatment, healthcare and rehabilitation. There are various predictive factors of falling and visual impairment isone of them. It is well known that visual impairment occurs increasingly as people age. Usually, only visual acuity is considered when measuring visual impairment, but nothing regarding a person’s functional visual ability is taken into account.

Methods: Therefore, the aim of our study was to assess the perceived vision-targeted health status among non-institutionalized elderly living in the community using the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) and to investigate whether there was any association between the vision-targeted health status and falls. There were 212 randomly selected elderly participants in the study.

Results: The results showed that general health was the only variable significantly associated with falls both among men (p = 0.011) and women (p = 0.029). However, among men, distance activities (p = 0.033), such as going down steps, or curbs in dim light, and peripheral vision (p = 0.048) such as difficulties in noticing objects off to the side while walking along, were significantly associated with falling. Near activities (p = 0.005), color vision (p = 0.002) and dependency (p = 0.022) as well as social functioning (p = 0.014) and role difficulties (p = 0.000) were also significantly associated with falling among men.

Conclusions: To meet the demands from an increasing elderly population, a more holistic approach of the visual function is needed when identifying elderly individuals at risk of falling

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2012. Vol. 22, no Suppl. 2, p. 106-106
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-41699ISI: 000310370400259OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-41699DiVA, id: diva2:780961
Conference
5th European Public Health Conference, Portomaso, St. Julian's, MaltaThursday, 8-10 November, 2012
Available from: 2015-01-15 Created: 2015-01-15 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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