Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the associations between neck pain, concerns of falling and physical performance in older people. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 423 community-dwelling Danes aged 75 years and older. Measures consisted of self-reported neck pain, physical performance (Short Physical Performance Battery), self-reported psychological concerns related to falling (Falls Efficacy Scale International), depression (Major Depression Inventory), cognitive function (Mini Mental State Examination), self-reported low-back pain and self-reported history of falls. Associations between neck pain and fear of falling were determined using multivariable logistic regression modelling. Results: Bothersome neck pain that limits daily activities is significantly associated with concerns of falling (unadjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.54-7.03) and impaired physical performance (unadjusted OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.09-4.69). However, these relationships became nonsignificant after adjusting for potential confounders. Bothersome neck pain and concerns of falling is attenuated by depression, and the relationship between bothersome neck pain and decreased physical performance is attenuated by concerns of falling, depression and previous history of falls. Conclusions: Bothersome neck pain in older people is associated with increased concerns of falling and decreased physical performance that are two known risk factors for falls in older people. However, these relationships are complicated by other variables, particularly depression.
- fear of falling
- physical performance