Comparison of fall risk in rural and urban community-dwelling Indian elderly

Yashaswini Kumari, S. A. Dsouza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. To compare the intrinsic risk factors (health, balance, and mobility) and the prevalence, circumstances, and consequences of fall in urban and rural Indian elderly. Method. A total of 148 older adults, 74 each in a rural and an urban area participated in a cross-sectional study from August 2012 to June 2013. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information related to fall history in the previous year, health status, and socioeconomic and environmental details. The intrinsic risk factors were assessed using the Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques-4 (FICSIT-4) for static balance, Four Square Step Test for dynamic balance, Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration for Balance (mCTSIB), Timed Up and Go Test for functional mobility, 30-second Chair Stand Test, and the Balance Confidence Scale. Results. The number of elderly reporting falls in the previous year was similar in urban (n=9) and rural (n=8) groups. Nonetheless, urban elderly reported more serious fall-related injuries, more medical consultations/hospitalisations, and more restriction in activity. The two groups differed in the type of health problems, number of medications taken, and socioeconomic and environmental characteristics that contribute to fall risk. Rural elderly had better performance on all tests of balance and mobility, particularly for FICSIT-4 (p<0.001) and m-CTSIB (p=0.019). Conclusion. Urban and rural elderly differ in intrinsic risk factors, circumstances and consequences of fall, and also in socioeconomic and environmental risk factors. A fall prevention programme should be tailored specifically for the two populations for optimum results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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