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The Role of Culture and Diversity in the Prevention of Falls among Older Chinese People*

  • Khim Horton (a1) and Angela Dickinson (a2)

This grounded-theory study explored the perceptions of Chinese older people, living in England, on falls and fear of falling, and identified facilitators and barriers to fall prevention interventions. With a sample of 30 Chinese older people, we conducted two focus groups and 10 in-depth interviews in Mandarin or Cantonese. Interview transcripts, back translated, were analyzed using N6. Constant comparative analysis highlighted a range of health-seeking behaviors after a fall: Chinese older people were reluctant to use formal health services; talking about falls was avoided; older people hid falls from their adult children to avoid worrying them; and fatalistic views about falls and poor knowledge about availability and content of interventions were prevalent. Cost of interventions was important. Chinese older adults valued their independence, and cultural intergenerational relations had an impact on taking action to prevent falls. Cultural diversity affects older adults’ acceptance of fall prevention interventions.


Cette étude, fondée sur la grounded théorie, a exploré les perceptions des personnes âgées chinoises, vivant en Angleterre, concernant les chutes et la peur de tomber, et les animateurs et les entraves à l’intervention pour prévenir les chutes. En utilisant un échantillon de 30 personnes âgées chinoises, nous avons mené deux groupes de discussion et 10 entretiens en profondeur, en mandarin ou en cantonais. Les transcriptions des entretiens ont été traduites en arrière et analysées à l’aide de N6. Une analyse comparative et constante mis en évidence une gamme de comportements sains après une chute : les personnes âgées chinoises manifestaient de la réticence à utiliser les services de santé formels ; on évite de parler des chutes ; les personnes âgées ont caché les chutes de leurs enfants pour éviter les inquiéter ; et des vues fatalistes sur les chutes et la méconnaissance de la disponibilité et le contenu des interventions ont été repandus. Le côut des inter-ventions était important. Les personnes âgées chinoises apprécient leur indépendence, et les relations entre les générations ont eu un impact sur leur prise de mesures pour prévenir les chutes. La diversité culturelle a un effet sur l’acceptation des personnes agées des interventions visant à prévenir les chutes.

Corresponding author
Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: Khim Horton, Ph.D., Division of Health and Social Care, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7TE, United Kingdom (
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Ethics approval was gained from the Eastern Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee (MREC) (05/mre05/11), and Research Governance approval from the relevant acute National Health Service Trusts and Primary Care Trusts.

This work was undertaken by the University of Hertfordshire who received funding from the UK Department of Health [Grant Reference: 0010014]. This is an independent report commissioned and funded by Policy Research Programme in the Department of Health. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Department.

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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
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