A self-assessment tool was reliable in identifying hazards in the homes of elders

Robert O. Morgan, Carolee A. DeVito, Judy A. Stevens, Christine M. Branche, Beth A. Virnig, Phyllis A. Wingo, Richard W. Sattin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Falls are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries, particularly among the elderly. A reliable instrument for self-assessment of home falls hazards would facilitate screening for falls risk. This study examined the reliability of self-assessment of home falls hazards by elderly women. Methods and Setting: Participants were 52 elderly women, aged 67 to 97. All evaluations were performed in the participants' homes. Home falls hazards were evaluated independently by study participants and by trained observers. Results: Kappa statistics indicated good to excellent agreement for most of the environmental factors. However, observers were significantly more likely than the study participants to report certain tripping hazards, particularly objects in walkways. Conclusion: This home checklist is an important step towards a reliable self-report instrument for measuring home falls hazards. Self-assessment appears to be a reliable method for assessing many putative hazards of falling in the home. However, our findings raise questions regarding the reliable assessment of tripping hazards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252.e1-1252.e21
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a contract from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, to the Miami Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center Health Services Research and Development Center, Miami, FL. This work was also supported by the VA Health Services Research and Development Service, Measurement Excellence and Training Reso urce Information Center (METRIC; RES 02-235).


  • Falls
  • Hazards
  • Reliability
  • Self-assessment
  • Surveys
  • Women


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