Predicting the Probability for Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Anne Shumway-Cook, Margaret Baldwin, Nayak L Polissar, William Gruber
1997 Physical Therapy  
and Purpose. The objective of this retrospective casecontrol study was to develop a model for predicting the likelihood of falls among community-dwelling older adults. Subiects. Forty-four community-dwelling adults (265 years of age) with and without a history of falls participated. Methods. Subjects completed a health status questionnaire and underwent a clinical evaluation of balance and mobility function. Variables that differed between fallers and nonfallers were identified, using t tests
more » ... ed, using t tests and cross tabulation with chi-square tests. A forward stepwise regression analysis was carried out to identify a combination of variables that effectively predicted fall status. Results. Five variables were found to be associated with fall history. These variables were analyzed using logistic regression. The final model combined the score on the Berg Balance Scale with a self-reported history of imbalance to predict fall risk. Sensitivity was 91%, and specificity was 82%. Conclusion and Discussion. A simple predictive model based on two risk factors can be used by physical therapists to quantify fall risk in community-dwelling older adults. Identification of patients with a high fall risk can lead to an appropriate referral into a fall prevention program. In addition, fall risk can be used to calculate change resulting from intervention. [Shumway-Cook A, Baldwin M, Polissar NL, Gruber W. Predicting the probability for falls in community-dwelling older adults.
doi:10.1093/ptj/77.8.812 pmid:9256869 fatcat:5nnhcifwhfgxnkaoxc5fvmaa6y