An ecological study of physical environmental risk factors for elderly falls in an urban setting of Hong Kong

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Abstract

Elderly fall has become an issue of great public health concern and typically important to the aging population in Hong Kong because it carries a great burden to the individuals and the society. More accurate information about environmental risk factors to falls among the elderly could alleviate if not overcome the situation. Conventional approaches to elderly falls were mainly conducted using statistical methods and clinical tests on falls. This study employs ecological and associative analysis using the geographic information systems (GIS) technology to visualize spatial association of falls and environmental factors. The study identified eleven hot spots of elderly falls with unique environmental characteristics. Amongst various environmental attributes, busy streets and junctions, outdoor markets, and refuse collection points, exhibit a strong spatial relationship with the hot spots. The results have demonstrated that GIS can offer an excellent synergic platform to explore the role of space and pattern in fall occurrences. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Poh-Chin, L., Martin, W., Ming-Houng, C., Wing-Cheung, W., & Chien-Tat, L. (2009). An ecological study of physical environmental risk factors for elderly falls in an urban setting of Hong Kong. Science of the Total Environment, 407(24), 6157–6165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.08.042

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