Repeat falls and the recovery of social participation in the year post-hip fracture

Ram R. Miller, Shoshana H. Ballew, Michelle D. Shardell, Gregory E. Hicks, William G. Hawkes, Barbara Resnick, Jay Magaziner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: although the majority of hip fractures are the result of a fall, whether repeated falls in the year post-fracture adversely influence recovery of social participation is not known. Design: analysis of data from a longitudinal cohort study. Subjects: community-dwelling women aged ≥65 years, admitted to one of two hospitals in Baltimore with a new, non-pathological fracture of the proximal femur between 1992 and 1995. Methods: information on falls was collected from a falls diary. At the baseline, 6- and 12-month evaluations, subjects were asked about the number of times in the 2 weeks prior to the evaluation they had participated in 10 categories of social activities. We examined the association of repeated falls with social participation using generalized estimating equations. The effect of physical and psychological functions was examined by including measures of lower extremity functional performance and depressive symptoms into the model. Results: the analyses included 196 women, mean age = 80.2 years. Eighty-one subjects fell. The subjects with >1 fall between evaluations participated in a mean (95% CI) of 3.5 (0.12, 6.9) and 4.3 (0.9, 7.7) fewer social activities at 6 and 12 months post-fracture, respectively, compared to those who did not fall (P = 0.0003). These results were attenuated by adjustment for depressive symptoms, but not by lower extremity functional performance. Conclusions: in the year post-fracture, repeated falls in women were associated with decreased social participation independent of lower extremity function. Depressive symptoms in repeated fallers may partly explain this association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-575
Number of pages6
JournalAge and ageing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidental falls
  • Aged
  • Elderly
  • Hip fracture
  • Social activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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