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Australas J Ageing. 2009 Sep;28(3):139-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2009.00375.x.

Four-item fall risk screening tool for subacute and residential aged care: The first step in fall prevention.

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Department of Physiotherapy Peninsula Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To report the reliability, accuracy and compliance of a brief fall risk screening tool in subacute and residential aged care.


A 9-item tool, developed by expert and literature review, was administered to 291 persons admitted to subacute and residential aged care at Peninsula Health (PH) Victoria, Australia. Items were analysed for their ability to predict falls and the four strongest incorporated into a screening tool. Reliability was assessed on six nurses.


Most predictive items were recent falls (0.82), psychological status (0.55), medications (0.46) and cognition (0.41) chi(2) (4, n= 291) = 89.89, P < 0.0001. The final 4-item tool (PH-FRAT) provides 80% accuracy (sensitivity(ER) 70.2%, specificity(ER) 68.8%) and high reliability (ICC = 0.79). The PH-FRAT is now used in 50 local subacute and residential facilities.


The 4-item PH-FRAT is a popular, moderately predictive, reliable and brief method of screening fall risk in subacute and residential aged care.

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