Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fear of falling may cause social isolation in older adults with vision problems

Date:
December 11, 2012
Source:
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Summary:
A new study found that between 40 to 50 percent of older adults with visually impairing eye disease limit their activities due to a fear of falling. Vision scientists warn that this protective strategy puts seniors at risk for social isolation and disability.

A new study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that between 40 to 50 percent of older adults with visually impairing eye disease limit their activities due to a fear of falling. Vision scientists warn that this protective strategy puts seniors at risk for social isolation and disability.

In the paper, "Activity Limitation Due to a Fear of Falling in Older Adults with Eye Disease," researchers report on their examination of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and Fuchs corneal dystrophy, as compared to a control group of older adults with good vision. Of the three groups with visual limitations, the patients with Fuchs corneal dystrophy were the mostly like to report activity limitation due to fear of falling, followed by those with glaucoma and the AMD group.

"I expected all of the groups to limit their activities due to a fear of falling but I was a bit surprised that the group with Fuchs corneal dystrophy was the most likely to limit their activities," says Ellen E. Freeman, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Montreal, Québec, Canada. "I was also surprised at how frequently people with eye disease reported limiting their activities due to fear of falling. Clearly, this is something that is affecting many people with eye disease."

The research team conducted a cross-sectional study of 345 patients (93 with AMD, 57 with Fuchs, 98 with glaucoma and 97 controls) from the ophthalmology clinics of Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal. Questionnaires and vision tests were given to each patient. Only 16 percent of controls with normal vision reported activity limitation due to a fear of falling compared with the 40 to 50 percent of patients with eye disease.

Results also showed that people who reported activity limitation due to a fear of falling were older, were more likely to be females, had worse vision, were more likely to be depressed and had greater comorbidity.

Freeman points out that their findings are not only relevant to older patients with eye disease, but to their families, physicians and to those providing low vision rehabilitation services. "It is important to know more about which activities are being limited due to fear of falling. We can then develop and test interventions to help people feel more confident about their ability to safely do those activities," she says. " If we could develop a brief, effective intervention focused on select activities, I would like to see it offered in the clinical setting. Then, we could encourage people to see a low vision rehabilitation specialist if they want more training."

The research team concludes that older adults with eye disease should stay as mobile as safely possible to help prevent morbidity associated with a sedentary lifestyle, mobility disability and mortality.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Y. Wang, J. Rousseau, H. Boisjoly, H. Schmaltz, M.-J. Kergoat, S. Moghadaszadeh, F. Djafari, E. E. Freeman. Activity Limitation due to a Fear of Falling in Older Adults with Eye Disease. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2012; 53 (13): 7967 DOI: 10.1167/iovs.12-10701

Cite This Page:

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Fear of falling may cause social isolation in older adults with vision problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211163543.htm>.
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. (2012, December 11). Fear of falling may cause social isolation in older adults with vision problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211163543.htm
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Fear of falling may cause social isolation in older adults with vision problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211163543.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins