Title

Testing the reliability of the Fall Risk Screening Tool in an elderly ambulatory population.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2013

Institution/Department

Internal Medicine, Nursing

Journal Title

Journal of nursing management.

MeSH Headings

Accidental Falls, Aged, Ambulatory Care, Factor Analysis, Statistical, Humans, Mass Screening, Reproducibility of Results, Risk Assessment

Abstract

AIM: To identify and test the reliability of a fall risk screening tool in an ambulatory outpatient clinic.

BACKGROUND: The Fall Risk Screening Tool (Albert Lea Medical Center, MN, USA) was scripted for an interview format.

METHOD: Two interviewers separately screened a convenience sample of 111 patients (age ≥ 65 years) in an ambulatory outpatient clinic in a northeastern US city.

RESULT: The interviewers' scoring of fall risk categories was similar. There was good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.834-0.889) and inter-rater reliability [intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) = 0.824-0.881] for total, Risk Factor and Client's Health Status subscales. The Physical Environment scores indicated acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.742) and adequate reliability (ICC = 0.688). Two Physical Environment items (furniture and medical equipment condition) had low reliabilities [Kappa (K) = 0.323, P = 0.08; K = -0.078, P = 0.648), respectively.

CONCLUSION: The scripted Fall Risk Screening Tool demonstrated good reliability in this sample. Rewording two Physical Environment items will be considered.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: A reliable instrument such as the scripted Fall Risk Screening Tool provides a standardised assessment for identifying high fall risk patients. This tool is especially useful because it assesses personal, behavioural and environmental factors specific to community-dwelling patients; the interview format also facilitates patient-provider interaction.

ISSN

1365-2834

First Page

1008

Last Page

1015

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