Objectives: To identify clinical correlates of person-centered fall risk awareness and their validity for predicting falls. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Community. Participants: Ambulatory community-dwelling older adults without dementia (N = 316; mean age 78, 55% female). Measurements: Fall risk awareness was assessed using a two-item questionnaire that asked participants about overall likelihood of someone in their age group having a fall and their own personal risk of falling over the next 12 months. Incident falls were recorded over study follow-up. Results: Fifty-three participants (16.8%) responded positively to the first fall risk awareness question about being likely to have a fall in the next 12 months, and 100 (31.6%) reported being at personal risk of falling over the next 12 months. There was only fair correlation (κ = 0.370) between responses on the two questions. Prior falls and depressive symptoms were associated with positive responses on both fall risk awareness questions. Age and other established fall risk factors were not associated with responses on either fall risk awareness question. The fall risk awareness questionnaire did not predict incident falls or injurious falls. Conclusion: Fall risk awareness is low in older adults. Although person-centered fall risk awareness is not predictive of falls, subjective risk perceptions should be considered when designing fall preventive strategies because they may influence participation and behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology