Fall-risk screening test: A prospective study on predictors for falls in community-dwelling elderly

A. M. Tromp, S. M.F. Pluijm, J. H. Smit, D. J.H. Deeg, L. M. Bouter, P. Lips*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This large prospective cohort study was undertaken to construct a fall-risk model for elderly. The emphasis of the study rests on easily measurable predictors for any falls and recurrent falls. The occurrence of falls among 1285 community-dwelling elderly aged 65 years and over was followed during 1 year by means of a "fall calendar." Physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning preceding the registration of falls were studied as potential predictors of fall-risk. Previous falls, visual impairment, urinary incontinence and use of benzodiazepines were the strongest predictors identified in the risk profile model for any falls (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.65), whereas previous falls, visual impairment, urinary incontinence and functional limitations proved to be the strongest predictors in the model for recurrent falls (AUC = 0.71). The probability of recurrent falls for subsequent scores of the screening test ranged from 4.7% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 4.0-5.4%) to 46.8% (95% CI: 43.0-50.6%). Our study provides a fall-risk screening test based on four easily measurable predictors that can be used for fall-risk stratification in community-dwelling elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-844
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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