Fear of falling and risk of falling: a systematic review and meta-analysis – Acta Paulista de Enfermagem

Silvana Barbosa Pena ORCID logo, Heloísa Cristina Quatrini Carvalho Passos Guimarães, Juliana Lima Lopes, Lidia Santiago Guandalini, Mônica Taminato, Dulce Aparecida Barbosa, Alba Lúcia Bottura Leite de Barros[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

DOI: 10.1590/1982-0194201900062 [9]



to verify if fear of falling is a risk factor in older people living in the community.


A systematic review was conducted with a meta-analysis based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses. The PECOS search strategy was used: Patient – elderly person aged 60 years or above, living in a community with a previous history of falls; Exposure – Fear of falling, Comparison – group without fear of falling, “Outcome” – fall outcome and “Studies” – included comparative observational studies. The searches were conducted in May 2018 in the following electronic databases CINAHL, Medline, Cochrane, Embase, Lilacs, PsycINFO and PEDro, through the following descriptors: “aged”, “elderly”, older adults, fear, fear of falling, accidental falls, fall, falls. Cross-references and gray literature were also searched. Two reviewers independently performed the identification, selection, eligibility and inclusion of the studies. The methodological quality of the studies was carried out by applying the STROBE tool. For the meta-analysis, the Review Mananger 5.3 Program was used®.


Of 4,891 publications, five studies enabled a meta-analysis with 3,112 elderly. There was a chance of a fall of 12.15 times higher for the group of elderly people with fear of falling.


Fear of falling was identified as a risk factor for falling in the elderly population that lives in the community and that has a history of falling, it is necessary the investigation by health professionals in order to establish preventive measures.

Fear of falling and risk of falling: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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