Examination of a fall prevention program on leisure and leisure-based fear of falling of older adults

Catherine M. Headley, Laura Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Falling is a serious public health issue, and many studies have examined the effects of balance programs on fall risk, balance, gait, and balance self-efficacy. However, few studies have focused on changes in leisure self-efficacy and leisure-based fear of falling. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in older adults' perceptions of leisure efficacy, balance self-efficacy, and leisure-based fear of falling from participating in a six-week community based program called N' Balance®. Participants were randomly assigned into the intervention group (n = 26) or control group (n = 24). The sample ranged in age from 73 to 97 years, with a mean age of 84.51 years. Leisure-based fear of falling was measured with one question: "In the last 12 months, to what extent have you limited your activities because you were afraid you would fall"? Balance self-efficacy was measured with an 18-item scale, where respondents estimated how confident they felt about their ability to do various daily tasks. Leisure self-efficacy was assessed with 25 questions about how confident they felt doing a variety of active leisure activities. Results indicated both groups significantly improved their balance self-efficacy over time and leisure self-efficacy improved by 8.1% in the intervention group, whereas the control group decreased. Fear of falling decreased significantly for N' Balance participants, but at post-test was worse in the control group. Results highlight the importance of leisure-based fear of falling and leisure self-efficacy and future research should consider how participation in fall prevention programs can encourage people to resume or continue valued leisure activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Balance
  • Fall prevention
  • Fear of falling
  • Leisure
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Sensory Systems
  • Speech and Hearing

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