gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Repressive coping in geriatric patients' reports - impact on fear of falling

Meeting Abstract

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Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa049

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Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Hauer.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The accuracy of patients' reports is crucial for an adequate diagnostic pathway and medical therapy. Non-reporting in geriatric patients is often interpreted as age-associated forgetfulness or as a sign of cognitive impairment. As these factors indeed influence the accuracy of patient reports and the perception of health, other aspects such as education, depression or psychological coping strategies have to be concerned.

We investigated the influence of repressive coping, depression, cognition, education and age on geriatric patients' reports on health-related status in 80 geriatric patients with a history of injurious falls. For patient reports activity avoidance, perception of terminal decline, falls, co-morbidity, number of medication and fear of falling were assessed. Repressive coping was significantly associated with underreporting in geriatric patients in all items documented and predicted most variables of patients' reports. Because of underreporting significant health problems geriatric patients with repressive coping may therefore be at risk for inadequate medical treatment.