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Journal Article


Beauchamp MK, Kuspinar A, Sohel N, Mayhew A, D'Amore C, Griffith LE, Raina P. Age Ageing 2022; 51(5): afac095.


(Copyright © 2022, Oxford University Press)






BACKGROUND: Guidelines for fall prevention in older adults recommend mobility screening for fall risk assessment; however, there is no consensus on which test to use and at what cutoff. This study aimed to determine the accuracy and optimal cut-off values of commonly used mobility tests for predicting falls in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA).

METHODS: Mobility tests at baseline included the Timed Up and Go (TUG), Single Leg Stance (SLS), chair-rise and gait speed. Inclusion criteria were: age ≥ 65 years and meeting first-level fall screening criteria (i.e. history of a fall or mobility problem) at baseline. Accuracy of fall prediction at 18-months for each test was measured by the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC).

RESULTS: Of 1,121 participants that met inclusion criteria (mean age 75.2 ± 5.9 years; 66.6% women), 218 (19.4%) reported ≥one fall at 18 months. None of the tests achieved acceptable accuracy for identifying individuals with ≥one fall at follow-up. Among women 65-74 and 75-85 years, the TUG identified recurrent fallers (≥two falls) with optimal cut-off scores of 14.1 and 12.9 s (both AUCs 0.70), respectively. Among men 65-74 years, only the SLS showed acceptable accuracy (AUC 0.85) for identifying recurrent fallers with an optimal cutoff of 3.6 s.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that commonly used mobility tests do not have sufficient discriminability to identify fallers in a population-based sample of community-dwelling older adults. The TUG and SLS can identify recurrent fallers; however, their accuracy and cut-off values vary by age and sex.

Language: en


older people; accidental falls; clinical practice guideline; CLSA; cut-off values; physical performance measures


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