Ptophobia: the fear of falling in elderly people.


  • Juliana Gai Programa de Pós-Graduação Strito Sensu em Gerontologia, Universidade Católica de Brasilia, Brasil.
  • Lucy Gomes
  • Carmen Jansen De Cárdenas



Falling is a serious problem for the elderly which consequences--fractures, other lesions and the fear of falling--may result in auto-restrictions in daily living activities, producing immobility and accelerating the physical decline associated with aging. The ptophobia (phobic fear of falling) is characterized by an out-of-control fear of walking, even without locomotion alteration, loss of self-esteem and social isolation. Interventions for the prevention and treatment of the falling fear in the elderly are very important to assure a good quality of life. Psychotherapy and physical rehabilitation have been related as ways of treatment of ptophobia in the elderly.


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How to Cite

Gai J, Gomes L, Jansen De Cárdenas C. Ptophobia: the fear of falling in elderly people. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2009 Feb. 27 [cited 2023 Sep. 21];22(1):83-8. Available from:



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