Validating an evidence-based, self-rated fall risk questionnaire (FRQ) for older adults

  • Rubenstein L
  • Vivrette R
  • Harker J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Background: Falls are a common, serious, and often unrecognized problem facing older adults. The objective of this study was to provide an initial clinical and statistical validation for a public health strategy of fall risk self-assessment by older adults using a Fall Risk Questionnaire (FRQ). Methods: Adults age 65 + (n = 40) were recruited at a Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility and at a local assisted living facility. Participants completed the FRQ self-assessment and results were compared to a "gold standard" of a clinical evaluation of risks using the American/British Geriatrics Society guidelines to assess independent predictors of falls: history of previous falls, fear of falling, gait/balance, muscle weakness, incontinence, sensation and proprioception, depression, vision, and medications. For the comparison, we used an iterative statistical approach, weighing items based on relative risk. Results: There was strong agreement between the FRQ and clinical evaluation (kappa =.875, p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fall prevention
  • Falls
  • Geriatrics
  • Risk assessment

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