Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
GONCALVES, Lílian Gatto; VIEIRA, Simone Theodosio; SIQUEIRA, Fernando Vinholes and HALLAL, Pedro Curi. Prevalence of falls in institutionalized elderly in Rio Grande, Southern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.5, pp. 938-945. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000500021.
OBJECTIVE: The increase of life expectancy in developing countries has been a source of concern about quality of life and well-being of elderly people, especially regarding falls. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of falls in institutionalized elderly and to describe factors associated. METHODS: Cross-sectional study carried out in the city of Rio Grande (Southern Brazil). A total of 180 elderly (65 years old or more), living in institutions were included in the study. The elderly were interviewed and a pre-tested instrument with questions on falls was administered. In addition to a bivariate analysis (Wald), Poisson's regression analysis was conducted and prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) adjusted for confounders were estimated. RESULTS: The prevalence of falls among institutionalized elderly was 38.3%. Falls were most frequently seen at the home premises (62.3%) and mostly in the bedroom (23%). In the adjusted analysis, falls remained associated to white color skin, separated and divorced elderly, depression, and higher continuous use of medications. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that the prevalence of falls among institutionalized elderly is high and that they can be disabling to this population. Although some of the associated factors are preventable, accidental falls still occur in settings that should be safe, such as the elderly's bedroom.
Keywords : Aged; Accidental Falls; Risk Factors; Health of Institutionalized Elderly; Cross-Sectional Studies.