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Falls and confidence related quality of life outcome measures in an older British cohort

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steve Parry, Dr Nick Steen, Scott Galloway, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Professor John Bond


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Falls are common in older subjects and result in loss of confidence and independence. The Falls Efficacy Scale (FES) and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC) were developed in North America to quantify these entities, but contain idiom unfamiliar to an older British population. Neither has been validated in the UK. The FES and the ABC were modified for use within British culture and the internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the modified scales (FES-UK and ABC-UK) assessed. A total of 193 consecutive, ambulant, new, and return patients (n=119; 62%) and their friends and relatives ("visitors", n=74; 38%) were tested on both scales, while the last 60 subjects were retested within one week. internal reliability was excellent for both scales (Cronbach's alpha 0.97 (FES-UK), and 0.98 (ABC-UK)). Test-retest reliability was good for both scales, though superior for the ABC-UK (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.58 (FES-UK), 0.89 (ABC-UK)). There was evidence to suggest that the ABC-UK was better than the FES-UK at distinguishing between older patients and younger patients ( /t(ABC)/ = 4.4; /t(FES)/ = 2.3); and between fallers and non-fallers (/t(ABC)/ = 8.7; /t(FES)/ = 5.0) where the t statistics are based on the comparison of two independent samples. The ABC-UK and FES-UK are both reliable and valid measures for the assessment of fans and balance related confidence in older adults. However, better test-retest reliability and more robust differentiation of subgroups in whom falls related qualify of life would be expected to be different make the ABC-UK the current instrument of choice in assessing this entity in older British subjects.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kenny RA; Bond J; Steen N; Parry SW; Galloway SR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Postgraduate Medical Journal

Year: 2001

Volume: 77

Issue: 904

Pages: 103-108

ISSN (print): 0032-5473

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd

URL: http://dx.doi.org10.1136/pmj.77.904.103

DOI: 10.1136/pmj.77.904.103


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