Are the Falls Efficacy Scales International (FES-I) valid?

January 01, 0001

Are the Falls Efficacy Scales International (FES-I) valid?

These Australian and Belgian researchers sought a comprehensive validation of the 16-item and 7-item Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) via examining the overall structure and measurement properties, convergent and predictive validity, and responsiveness to change. They assessed 500 community-dwelling geriatric patients(70-90 years of age) using the FES-I. This was compared with demographic, physiological and neuropsychological data, both at baseline and at 12 months. Falls were monitored monthly and fear of falling was assessed every 3 months.

The authors found: "the overall structure and measurement properties of both FES-I scales, as evaluated with item response theory, were good. Discriminative ability on physiological and neuropsychological measures indicated excellent validity, both at baseline (n = 500, convergent validity) and at 1-year follow-up (n = 463, predictive validity). The longitudinal follow-up suggested that FES-I scores increased over time regardless of any fall event, with a trend for a stronger increase in FES-I scores when a person suffered multiple falls in a 3-month period. Additionally, using receiver- operating characteristic (ROC) curves, cut-points were defined to differentiate between lower and higher levels of concern."

The authors concluded: "the current study builds on the previously established psychometric properties of the FES-I. Both scales have acceptable structures, good validity and reliability and can be recommended for research and clinical purposes. Future studies should explore the FES-I's responsiveness to change during intervention studies and confirm suggested cut- points in other settings, larger samples and across different cultures."

The 16-item and 7-item FES-I are both reliable and valid in the clinical setting.

For the full abstract, click here.

Age and Aging 39(2):210-216, March 2010
© 2010 Delbaerel et al.
The Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). A comprehensive longitudinal validation study. Kim Delbaere, Jacqueline C. T. Close, A. Stefanie Mikolaizak, Perminder S. Sachdev5, Henry Brodaty, and Stephen R. Lord. Correspondence to S. R. Lord: [email protected]

Category: A. General/Unspecified. Keywords: FES-I, falls, ageing, elderly, validity, prospective epidemiological study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 2 April 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.