Affordable Access

Asking older people about fear of falling did not have a negative effect.

Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publication Date


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To assess whether completing a questionnaire on risk of falling could affect outcome measures: fear of falling, reported falls, and health service contacts in older people (panel conditioning). METHODS: We used a postal questionnaire to assess the effect on falls risk of implementing falls injury prevention guidelines within a single locality in outer London, UK. We compared responses for the baseline and 6-month follow-up surveys with those for a fresh survey. The latter was sent to a new pool of subjects drawn from the same population, and was sent only once; timing coincided with the follow-up survey. RESULTS: At baseline, we received 498 responses for 1,000 (50%) surveys sent; of these, 358 (72%) subsequently returned the follow-up survey. For the fresh survey, we received 1,261 out of 2,000 (61%) responses to the fresh survey. The odds ratio for the effect of panel conditioning on fear of falling was 0.92 (95% confidence interval CI = 0.64-1.33), within our predefined limit for equivalence. Odds ratios for the effect on reported falls and health service contacts were 0.87 (95% CI = 0.59-1.29) and 0.75 (95% CI = 0.55-1.02), respectively. CONCLUSION: The proportions of subjects who feared falling in the follow-up survey and in the fresh survey were equivalent. Reduced reporting of falls and health service use in the follow-up survey suggest that the potential for panel effects cannot be ignored.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times

More articles like this

Asking older people about fear of falling did not...

on Journal of Clinical Epidemiolo... Jan 01, 2006

Asking older people about fear of falling did not...

on Journal of Clinical Epidemiolo... June 2006

[Fear of falling in older people].

on Revue médicale de Bruxelles 2007
More articles like this..