Patterns of perspectives on fall-prevention beliefs by community-dwelling older adults: A Q method investigation

Shueh Fen Chen, Su Fei Huang, Li Ting Lu, Mei Chuen Wang, Jung Yu Liao, Jong Long Guo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Falling has high incidence and reoccurrence rates and is an essential factor contributing to accidental injury or death for older adults. Enhancing the participation of community-dwelling older adults in fall-prevention programs is crucial. Understanding fall-prevention beliefs will be beneficial for developing a community-based fall-prevention program. The aim of the present study was to identify the distinct types of subjective views on the fall-prevention beliefs of community-dwelling older adults aged 80 years and older by applying the Q method. Methods: The Q method was adopted to investigate the pattern of perception on fall-prevention beliefs. Forty-two older adults aged 80 - 92 years from a community care center in Northern Taiwan were recruited and requested to complete a Q-sorting. A series of Q-sorts was performed by the participants to rank 30 statements into a normal distribution Q-sort grid. The Q-sorts were subjected to principal component analysis by using PQMethod software Version 2.35. Results: Four statistically independent perspectives were derived from the analysis and reflected distinct viewpoints on beliefs related to fall prevention. Participants in the Considerate perspective believed that health problems caused by falling were serious and fall prevention could decrease the burden they place on their family. Participants in the Promising perspective believed that existing health problems could cause a fall and that fall prevention contributed to their well-being. Participants in the Adaptable perspective perceived low barriers to execute fall prevention and displayed self-confidence and independence in preventing falls. Participants in the Ignorance perspective believed that they could not prevent falls and perceived barriers to fall prevention. Conclusions: By combining theoretical constructs and the Q methodology approach, this study identified four distinct perspectives on fall prevention among community-dwelling older adults. Critical reflection on older adult personal perspectives and interpretations of the required responsive approach is a key element for appropriating fall-prevention support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 7


  • Beliefs
  • Fall prevention
  • Older adults
  • Q methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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