Development of the Falls Risk for Older People in the Community (FROP-Com) screening tool

Melissa A Russell, Keith D Hill, Lesley M Day, Irene Blackberry, Lyle C Gurrin, Shyamali C Dharmage
Age and Ageing 2009, 38 (1): 40-6

BACKGROUND: the aim of this study was to develop a brief screening tool for use in the emergency department (ED), to identify people who require further assessment and management.

METHODS: this prospective study included 344 community-dwelling older people presenting to an ED after a fall. After direct discharge participants had a home-based assessment performed that included the Falls Risk for Older People in the Community (FROP-Com), a comprehensive, yet simple, multifactorial falls risk assessment tool. They were then monitored for falls for 12 months. The items from the FROP-Com assessment tool predictive of falls in a multifactorial logistic regression were used to develop the FROP-Com screen.

RESULTS: the items significantly predictive of falls and combined to form the FROP-Com screen were: falls in the previous 12 months, observation of the person's balance and the need for assistance to perform domestic activities of daily living. At the cut-off with the highest Youden index sensitivity was 67.1% (95% CI 59.9-74.3) and specificity was 66.7% (95% CI 59.8-73.6).

CONCLUSION: the FROP-Com screen has a relatively good capacity to predict falls. It can be used in time-limited situations to classify those at high risk of falls who require more detailed assessment and management.

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