Masculinity and preventing falls: insights from the fall experiences of men aged 70 years and over Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE:To explore men's fall experiences through the lens of masculine identities so as to assist health professionals better engage men in fall prevention programs. METHODS:Twenty-five men, aged 70-93 years who had experienced a recent fall, participated in a qualitative semi-structured interview. Men's willingness to engage in fall prevention programs taking account of individual contexts and expressions of masculinity, were conceptualised using constant comparative methods. RESULTS:Men's willingness to engage in fall prevention programs was related to their perceptions of the preventability of falls; personal relevance of falls; and age, health, and capability as well as problem-solving styles to prevent falls. Fall prevention advice was rarely given when men accessed the health system at the time of a fall. CONCLUSIONS:Contrary to dominant expectations about masculine identity, many men acknowledged fall vulnerability indicating they would attend or consider attending, a fall prevention program. Health professionals can better engage men by providing consistent messages that falls can be prevented; tailoring advice, understanding men are at different stages in their awareness of fall risk and preferences for action; and by being aware of their own assumptions that can act as barriers to speaking with men about fall prevention. Implications for rehabilitation Men accessing the health system at the time of the fall, and during rehabilitation following a fall represent prime opportunities for health professionals to speak with men about preventing falls and make appropriate referrals to community programs. Tailored advice will take account of individual men's perceptions of preventability; personal relevance; perceptions of age, health and capability; and problem-solving styles.


  • Liddle, JLM
  • Lovarini, Meryl
  • Clemson, Lindy M
  • Jang, Haeyoung
  • Lord, Stephen R
  • Sherrington, Catherine
  • Willis, Karen

publication date

  • 2019