1 Introduction</h5> Falls are common in older people with studies reporting prevalence rates of approximately 30–40% per annum ( Tinetti, Speechley, & Ginter, 1988; Watson, Clapperton, & Mitchell, 2010 ). The consequences of falls are serious and include injury, reduced functional ability, hospitalization, premature nursing home admission and death ( Potter-Forbes & Aisbett, 2003; Tinetti & Williams, 1997 ). While prevalence estimates of major depressive disorder for older people are generally low and comparable to younger adults at around 1–4%, clinically relevant symptoms of depression are more common with rates consistently reported at about 15–32% in older people ( Anstey, von Sanden, & Sargent-Cox, 2007; Beekman, Deeg, & van Tilburg, 1995 ).</P>Depressive symptomatology has been identified as a risk factor for falls in a number of prospective studies ( Biderman, Cwikel, & Fried, 2002; Gassmann, Rupprecht, & Freiberger, 2009 ). This causal association can be explained through various mechanisms including physical, cognitive and biochemical pathways. Several physical factors including impaired balance, reduced muscle strength and slowed gait speed have been linked to both an increased risk of falling ( Lord, Clark, & Webster, 1991; Tinetti & Kumar, 2010 ) and depressive symptoms ( Hausdorff, Nelson, & Kaliton, 2001
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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