Individual falls risk assessments - Stay On Your Feet
If a person is considered at high risk for falls after screening, a health professional should conduct a falls risk assessment to obtain a more detailed analysis of the individual's risk of falling 56. A falls risk assessment involves using a validated tool that has been tested by researchers to be effective in specifying the causes of falls in an individual. As a person's health and circumstances change, reassessment is necessary.
Falls can be reduced by 30 to 40% using multi-disciplinary assessment, followed by multi-factorial interventions in the home 121,122. Conducting a falls risk assessment is of no value if interventions are not followed through based on its findings 12. There is no one falls risk assessment tool recommended for use in all situations. Most tools are only suitable for particular groups of people 78.
Multi-factorial falls risk assessment tools
The following falls risk assessment tools and tests are recommended by systematic reviews and/or the Queensland Stay On Your Feet® Community Good Practice Guidelines. Tools that predict a person's health risk need to be tested to show that they can accurately determine that there is a health risk present or not. For a tool to be considered "validated", they need to meet the gold standard criteria for quality risk assessment tools.
|Assessment tool/test||Description||Available from|
|Rates falls risk on a number of factors including falls history, medications, medical conditions, sensory loss, foot problems, cognitive status, continence, nutritional status, and function.||This risk screening tool and guidelines are available for use from the National Ageing Research Institute.|
|Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA)||Computer software which enables a trained health professional to conduct a range of falls risk assessment tests, enter results and produce a falls risk assessment report for each individual. The report includes falls risk, test performance results, results compared to age related norms and recommendations for improving any issues identified.||Based on computer software available for a cost. A free demonstration of this software is available on the Falls Prevention and Balance Research Group, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute website.|
For other assessment tools (which may or may not be validated), visit the Victorian Department of Health Services website
For more information on falls risk awareness, screening and assessment tools, see the Queensland Stay On Feet® Community Good Practice Guidelines