There are many types of screening tools, so which one do you choose?
The most common and easily implemented falls risk screening tool is asking;
- “Have you fallen in the last 12 months?”
- “Do you experience difficulties walking or balancing?”
The details and circumstances of any fall should be determined and a multifactorial intervention approach is usually indicated for high risk individuals, whilst for others a single intervention may suit.
What makes a good screening tool?
- External validation (tested in different settings)
- Peer reviewed journals
- One that is used appropriately
It is important to recognise that a screening tool is not the falls prevention intervention but a tool to identify potential risks. Screening tools are also a great way to start the discussion about falls prevention with older people.
Community Screening & Assessment Tools
WA Falls Specialist Service Referral Form requires a “FROP- Com” to be completed.
To view the complete Falls Risk for Older People in the Community (FROP-Com) Screen see page 136 of the Preventing Falls and Harm From Falls in Older People: Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Community Care The Quick screen© developed by researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is a multifactorial assessment tool which was designed specifically for use in clinical settings.
NeuRA have also developed an app called icon-FES that assesses fear of falling using pictures to describe a range of activities and situations.
- Timed Up and GO (TUG)
- 30 second Chair Stand Test
- 4 Stage Balance Test
Assessing cognition is common when screening for falls risk and there are many screening tools available. It can be difficult to recommend a set of screening tools for the recognition of dementia that are suitable for all older people in all situations.
The Preventing Falls and Harm From Falls in Older People: Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Community Care (page 141) suggests the use of the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS).
Other cognition screening tools include:
- Mini–mental state examination (MMSE)
- Mini Cog (clock drawing test)
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
Hospital Screening & Assessment Tools
Hospitals in Western Australia mainly use the Fall Risk and Management Plan (FRAMP) to assess risk, implement and monitor interventions.