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  Accidental injuries among the elderly within the Vienna community: Epidemiology, risk factors and preventive measures
Titel: Accidental injuries among the elderly within the Vienna community: Epidemiology, risk factors and preventive measures
Auteur: Rehberg, Walter
Furian, Gerald
Verschenen in: International journal on injury control and safety promotion
Paginering: Jaargang 5 (1998) nr. 2 pagina's 65-74
Jaar: 1998-06-01
Inhoud: Unintentional injuries ('accidents') among elderly people are a significant burden in public health because such accidents happen frequently and because the proportion of older age groups in the population will continue to rise during the coming decades. One aim of this study, which was done in Vienna, the capital of Austria, was to broaden the preventive concept, adding lifestyle and living conditions to already well-known risk factors following the health promotion approach. Furthermore, characteristics that predispose older residents to accidents should be identified in order to design preventive measures for reducing injuries in this age group. 809 interviews with people 60 years of age and over were conducted, concerning accidents, outcomes of accidents, physical fitness, drug intake, type of house or dwelling, equipment in the household incorporating safety features, psychological well-being and social relations. The information collected was used to draw cross-sectional comparisons between participants who reported having experienced at least one accident in the previous 12 months and those who did not. Furthermore, the accident incidents were classified into 2 groups: incidents without injuries and injurious accidents. The latter served as a base for the epidemiology of injuries for people 60 years of age and over within the Vienna community. 20% of all senior citizens suffer at least one unintentional injury every year, in addition to which 8% experience critical incidents (mostly falls) without injury. Most accidents occur at home or involve pedestrians in public traffic areas. Over 90% of all accidents are falls, and 20% result in fractures. The most important risk factors for accidents in the elderly are gender, increasing age, poor physical fitness and low physical activity, the type of household and household equipment, poor psychological well-being, low income and loneliness. The findings regarding falls suggest some possible opportunities for reducing the risk of falls by improving buildings and dwellings of the elderly. A promising attempt at practical implementation of these findings is being conducted by the Vienna-based Austrian Institute for Home and Leisure Safety in cooperation with the Vienna City Council. These two organizations are implementing a long-term program that aims at mobilizing institutions and organizations involved in working with the elderly.
Uitgever: Taylor & Francis
Bronbestand: Elektronische Wetenschappelijke Tijdschriften

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