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Research Article  |   July 2003
The Development of an Assessment To Evaluate Behavioral Factors Associated With Falling
Author Affiliations
  • Lindy Clemson, MAppSc(OT), is Lecturer, School of Occupation & Leisure Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, PO Box 170, Lidcombe, 1825 Australia; L.Clemson@fhs.usyd.edu.au
  • Robert G. Cumming, PhD, is Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia and the Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Hospital, Concord, Australia
  • Dr. Robert Heard, PhD, is Senior Lecturer, School of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Assessment: Function and the Environment
Research Article   |   July 2003
The Development of an Assessment To Evaluate Behavioral Factors Associated With Falling
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2003, Vol. 57, 380-388. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.4.380
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2003, Vol. 57, 380-388. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.4.380
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to report the development of the Falls Behavioral (FaB) Scale for Older People, an assessment designed to evaluate behavioral factors that could potentially protect against falling. Instrument development included content analysis, expert review, and factor analysis. Ten behavioral dimensions were identified including Cognitive Adaptations, Protective Mobility, Avoidance, Awareness, Pace, Practical Strategies, Displacing Activities, Being Observant, Changes in Level, and Getting to the Phone. The final 30item scale had a Content Validity Index of 0.93. Test–retest reliability was ICC = 0.94 (p < .01). Construct validity was established by showing that, as expected, scale scores were positively associated with increasing age (rs = 0.46, p < .01) and negatively associated with greater physical mobility (rs = −0.68, p < .01). People who had fallen utilized safer behaviors than those who had not reported a fall (p < .05) providing a benchmark for using the scale in future studies. The FaB is an easily completed, reliable, and valid tool for determining the presence or absence of protective behaviors. It has potential to assist in goal setting for falls prevention and to evaluate behavioral outcomes of fall prevention programs.