Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of fear of falling among a sample of elderly persons in the community, and to analyze its correlation with age, self-perceived health, difficulty walking, use of an assistive device for walking, history of falls, and functional capacity. Method: A cross-sectional study of 314 non-institutionalized elderly individuals, living in the city of Juiz de Fora in the state of Minas Gerais) in 2015, was carried out. A household survey was conducted and fear of falling was assessed using the Falls Efficacy Scale -International -Brazil (FES-I-BR ASIL). The Spearman correlation was used to verify the correlation of the independent variables with the fear of falling. The significance level for the study was 5%. Results: The prevalence of fear of falling among the elderly was 95.2% (95% CI= 92.3; 97.3). Fear of falling was significantly correlated with all the variables analyzed: age (r= 0.199), self-perceived health (r=0.299), difficulty walking (r= -0.480), use of an assistive device for walking (r=0.337), history of falls (r= -0.177), and functional capacity (r = -0.476). Conclusions: A high prevalence of fear of falling was observed, with a significant correlation between the outcome and the variables studied. These findings point to the need for rehabilitation, prevention, and health promotion strategies that enable healthy aging.
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