Pilot study evaluating fear of falling and falls among older rolling walker users

Hao Liu, Victoria Grando, Reta Zabel, Jeff Nolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Methods: Forty two qualifi ed older adults completed the Falls Effi cacy Scale and a questionnaire concerning walker use and history of falls in the last 12 months. Their walkers were assessed for appropriate use and maintenance.

Findings: Fifteen subjects (36%) fell at least once after beginning to use a walker, but the number of falls did not correlate to the duration of walker use. A moderate positive correlation existed between Falls Effi cacy Scale scores and the number of falls. Assessments of the walkers showed that the most common misuse was lack of medical consultation in obtaining a walker, followed by incorrect walker height, forward-leaning posture during ambulation. However, the most signifi cant difference (P< 0.05) between the fallers and the non-fallers was only identifi ed in poor posture problems.

Conclusions: Inappropriate use of a walker, especially the forward-leaning posture, may be associated with the falls. Falls may increase the fear of falling in older walker users. Clinicians including physicians, therapists, and nurses should possess knowledge to instruct older adults on appropriate walker use.

Aims: Fear of falling is considered a risk factor for falls. Walkers are commonly used by older adults for enhancing mobility. This study aimed to investigate the level of fear of falling in terms of the Falls Effi cacy Scale, how that level is associated with fall frequency, and how walkers were used among older walker users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-675
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Aged
  • Ambulatory device
  • Assisted living
  • Balance
  • Fear of falling
  • Walker use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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