Evaluation of race as a predictor of fear of falling in Black older adults

Selena E. Washington, Makenna Snyder, Yi Ling Hu, Susan L. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Determine whether race predicts fear of falling (FOF) in older adults with a history of previous fall(s) while controlling for mobility performance, activity of daily living (ADL) independence, age, gender, and education. Methods: We examined predictors of FOF among community-dwelling older adults using data from two longitudinal randomized controlled trials that implemented fall prevention programs for community-dwelling older adults. Results: Two hundred fifty-nine participants were included in the analysis; 145 reported low FOF, while 59 reported high FOF. After controlling for mobility performance, ADL independence, and sociodemographic factors, Black older adults were more likely to report FOF (OR = 2.17) compared to White older adults. Overall, older adults with lower mobility performance/functioning scores were more likely to have FOF (OR = 0.08). Conclusions: Older adults (aged ≥65 years) who are at higher risk, based on a prior history of fall(s), are more susceptible to developing FOF, as evidenced by the older adults within this study, due to limited mobility performance and functioning. Clinical Implications: Black older adults may be at greater risk of FOF than their White counterparts based on previous fall history and level of functional mobility. Incorporating measures of objective performance-based function along with measures of psychological factors are viable methods to identify and address FOF within Black older adult populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Fear of falling
  • fall risk
  • older adults
  • race


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