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  • Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, Volume 30, Issue 1
  • March 2011, pp. 57-66

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

  • Khim Horton (a1) and Angela Dickinson (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2011

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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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

F. Aminzadeh , & N. Edwards (2000). Factors associated with cane use among community dwelling older adults. Public Health Nursing, 17(6), 474483.

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C. Kwok , R. Cant , & G. Sullivan (2005). Factors associated with mammographic decisions of Chinese-Australian women. Health Education Research, 20(6), 739747.

P. Lehoux , B. Poland , & G. Daudelin (2006). Focus group research and ‘the patient’s view’. Social Science and Medicine, 63(8), 20912104.

J.M. Lilley , T. Arie , & C.E.D. Chilvers (1995). Accidents involving older people: A review of the literature. Age and Ageing, 24, 346365.

B. Roe , F. Howell , K. Riniotis , R. Beech , P. Crome , & B.N. Ong (2009). Older people and falls: Health status, quality of life, lifestyle, care networks, prevention and views on service use following a recent fall. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 22612272.

R. Shearer , & R. Davidhizar (2000). Luck, what the nurse should know about it and how it affects nursing situations. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 6(1), 26.

X.J. Yang , B. Haralambous , J. Angus , & K. Hill (2008). Older Chinese Australians’ understanding of falls and fall prevention: Exploring their needs for information. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 14(1), 3642.

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