Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Is fear of falling key to identifying gait and balance abnormalities in community-dwelling older adults? Protocol of a mixed-methods approach

Lookup NU author(s): Lewis Mccoll, Dr Peter McMeekin, Dr Marie Poole, Dr Steve Parry



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. INTRODUCTION: The ageing population poses an increasing burden to public health systems, particularly as a result of falls. Falls have been associated with poor gait and balance, as measured by commonly used clinical tests for poor gait and balance. Falls in older adults have the potential to lead to long-term issues with mobility and a fear of falling (FoF). FoF is measured by a variety of instruments; the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) version is widely used within clinical and research arenas. The ability of the FoF, as measured by the FES-I to predict gait and balance abnormalities (GABAb) has not previously been measured; this study aims to be the first to investigate this prospective relationship. METHODS AND ANALYSES: To investigate the ability of the FES-I to predict GABAb a mixed-methods approach will be used, including quantitative, qualitative and health economics approaches. Initially the ability of the FES-I to identify poor gait and balance will be investigated, along with whether the measure is able to assess change in gait and balance in response to exercise training. The ability of an online FES-I tool to assess poor gait and balance in an alternative pre-existing online strength and balance programme will also be investigated. Interviews will be carried out to investigate participant experiences and motivations of those that are offered Age UK Strength and Balance Training, along with the views of healthcare professionals and Age UK staff involved within the process. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: NHS REC Approval has been granted (IRAS ID 314705). Study participation is voluntary; participants will be provided with all necessary information within the participant information sheet, with written consent being sought. Study findings will be disseminated through manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, at scientific conferences and in a short report to participants and the funding body.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McColl L, McMeekin P, Poole M, Parry SW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2022

Volume: 12

Issue: 12

Online publication date: 08/12/2022

Acceptance date: 24/11/2022

Date deposited: 16/01/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-067040

PubMed id: 36600387


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name