Investigating Risk Factors for Falls among Community-Dwelling Older Adults According to WHO’s Risk Factor Model for Falls

X. X. Qian, Pui Hing Chau, C. W. Kwan, V. W.Q. Lou, A. Y.M. Leung, M. Ho, D. Y.T. Fong, I. Chi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The World Health Organization developed the Risk Factor Model for Falls to describe fall risks in a comprehensive manner. However, there was a lack of study adopting such framework in quantifying falls risk from different factors in a single model. Therefore, this study examined the risk factors from four domains in the Risk Factor Model for Falls among older adults. Design: Secondary data analysis of 10-year assessment records of the Minimum Data Set-Home Care instrument. Setting: Hong Kong. Participants: 89,100 community-dwelling adults aged 65 and over who first applied for publicly funded long-term care services from 2005 to 2014. Measurements: The Minimum Data Set-Home Care instrument was used to ascertain older adults’ care needs and match them with appropriate services. Additionally, meteorological records from the same period were extracted from the Hong Kong Observatory. The logistic regression model was used to examine risk factors and their associations with falls. Results: In total 70 factors were included in the analysis, of which 37 were significantly associated with falls. Behavioral risk factors generally had greater odds ratios of falling, as compared with biological, socioeconomic, and environmental factors. Out of all significant factors, functional status, alcohol drinking, and locomotion outdoors had the largest odds ratios of falling. Conclusion: Behavioral risk factors for falls are of remarkable influence yet are modifiable among older adults. Hence, falls prevention programs may need to prioritize addressing these factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Falls
  • older population
  • risk factors
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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