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Evaluation of a simple screening tool for ambulant fall prevention


Knobe, M; Rasche, P; Rentemeister, L; Bliemel, C; Bücking, B; Bollheimer, L C; Pape, H-C (2018). Evaluation of a simple screening tool for ambulant fall prevention. Der Unfallchirurg:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: An individual's risk of falling is generally difficult to detect and it is likely to be underestimated. Thus, preventive measures are challenging and they demand sufficient integration and implementation into aftercare and outpatient management. The Aachen Falls Prevention Scale (AFPS) is a quick and easy tool for patient-driven fall risk assessment. Older adults' risk of falling is identified in a suitable manner and they then have the opportunity to independently assess and monitor their risk of falling.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the AFPS as a simple screening tool in geriatric trauma patients via the identification of influencing factors, e.g. objective or subjective fall risk, fear of falling (FOF) and demographic data. In this context, we investigated older adults' willingness to take part in special activities concerning fall prevention.
METHODS: Retrospectively, all patients over 70 years of age who received in-hospital fracture treatment between July 2014 and April 2016 were analyzed at a level I trauma center. After identification of 884 patients, participants completed a short questionnaire (47 questions, yes/no, Likert scale) comprising the AFPS. A history of falls in the past year was considered an indicator of a balance disorder. In addition, ambulant patients were invited to participate between July and August 2016.
RESULTS: In total, 201 patients (mean 80.4 years, range 63-97 years) performed a self-assessment based on the AFPS. After steps 1 and 2 of the AFPS had been completed, 95 (47%) participants rated their subjective risk of falling as high (more than 5 points). Of the participants 84 (42%) were objectively classified as "fallers" with significant effects on their AFPS evaluation and rating of their subjective risk of falling. Furthermore, 67% of the participants identified a general practitioner as their main contact person, and 43% of the respondents viewed the AFPS as a beneficial screening tool in fall risk evaluation (8% negative attitudes). Only 12% of the participants could imagine using the AFPS app version as a feasible option.
CONCLUSION: It would be advantageous to pretest at-risk individuals in their environment using a simple self-assessment approach, with the main purpose of identifying potential balance problems. With this approach, cost savings in the healthcare system are possible, combined with a higher health-related quality of life in the geriatric population.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: An individual's risk of falling is generally difficult to detect and it is likely to be underestimated. Thus, preventive measures are challenging and they demand sufficient integration and implementation into aftercare and outpatient management. The Aachen Falls Prevention Scale (AFPS) is a quick and easy tool for patient-driven fall risk assessment. Older adults' risk of falling is identified in a suitable manner and they then have the opportunity to independently assess and monitor their risk of falling.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the AFPS as a simple screening tool in geriatric trauma patients via the identification of influencing factors, e.g. objective or subjective fall risk, fear of falling (FOF) and demographic data. In this context, we investigated older adults' willingness to take part in special activities concerning fall prevention.
METHODS: Retrospectively, all patients over 70 years of age who received in-hospital fracture treatment between July 2014 and April 2016 were analyzed at a level I trauma center. After identification of 884 patients, participants completed a short questionnaire (47 questions, yes/no, Likert scale) comprising the AFPS. A history of falls in the past year was considered an indicator of a balance disorder. In addition, ambulant patients were invited to participate between July and August 2016.
RESULTS: In total, 201 patients (mean 80.4 years, range 63-97 years) performed a self-assessment based on the AFPS. After steps 1 and 2 of the AFPS had been completed, 95 (47%) participants rated their subjective risk of falling as high (more than 5 points). Of the participants 84 (42%) were objectively classified as "fallers" with significant effects on their AFPS evaluation and rating of their subjective risk of falling. Furthermore, 67% of the participants identified a general practitioner as their main contact person, and 43% of the respondents viewed the AFPS as a beneficial screening tool in fall risk evaluation (8% negative attitudes). Only 12% of the participants could imagine using the AFPS app version as a feasible option.
CONCLUSION: It would be advantageous to pretest at-risk individuals in their environment using a simple self-assessment approach, with the main purpose of identifying potential balance problems. With this approach, cost savings in the healthcare system are possible, combined with a higher health-related quality of life in the geriatric population.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Department of Trauma Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2 February 2018
Deposited On:02 Mar 2018 19:26
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 15:35
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0177-5537
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00113-018-0462-2
PubMed ID:29396590

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