A measure of fall risk behaviors and perceptions among community-dwelling older adults

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Relatively little is known about the interaction between behavioral and environmental circumstances associated with falls among community-dwelling older adults. This study is designed to develop an instrument that measures community-dwelling older adults' participation in and perceptions of fall risk behaviors. Method: Eighty-seven community-dwelling older adults aged 60 or above (mean ± SD = 76 ± 7.9), who had experienced at least one fall in the past 12 months, completed a questionnaire dealing with frequency of their participation in fall risk behaviors, their perceptions of these behaviors, and their fall history. Data were subjected to exploratory factor analysis. Results: A 20-item instrument consisting of three constructs was presented as the Fall Risk Behaviors and Perceptions Scale (FRB&PS). Two of the three constructs of the instrument were de-stabilizers and non-supports, both of which measure participation in fall risk behaviors; the third was perceptions of fall risk behaviors. Internal consistency coefficient of the FRB&PS is 0.733 with a root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) score of 0.075, which indicates an adequate model fit. Results from the stepwise regression analyses indicated that adults aged 75 and above (the old-old) participated less frequently in fall risk activities (p = 0.025), and had more knowledge about fall risks as measured by a higher perception score (p = 0.025) than those aged 60 to 75 (the young-old). Older men tended to participate more frequently in fall risk activities (p = 0.020) than older women; in addition, those older adults who are more mobile (p = 0.002) also participated more frequently in fall risk behaviors than those who are less mobile. Conclusion: Preliminary findings indicate that the pilot FRB&PS is a reliable and valid instrument to measure community-dwelling older adults' participation in and perceptions of fall risk behaviors. Additional psychometric validation of the FRB&PS on predicting the likelihood of falls is warranted. © 2006 ASAHP.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Yuen HK; Carter RE
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 4