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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 210527, 6 pages
Research Article

Validity of 12-Month Falls Recall in Community-Dwelling Older Women Participating in a Clinical Trial

1Department of Medicine, NorthWest Academic Centre, Western Health and the University of Melbourne, Sunshine Hospital, 176 Furlong Road, St Albans, VIC 3021, Australia
2Research Institute of Health and Ageing, Australian Catholic University, 215 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
3School of Medicine and IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, Deakin University, P.O. Box 281, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
4School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia
5Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Barwon Health, Geelong Hospital, 1/75 Bellerine Street, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
6Rural Clinical School, The University of Queensland, 152 West Street, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia

Received 17 October 2014; Accepted 8 December 2014

Academic Editor: Thomas L. Andersen

Copyright © 2015 Kerrie M. Sanders et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To compare 12-month falls recall with falls reported prospectively on daily falls calendars in a clinical trial of women aged ≥70 years. Methods. 2,096 community-dwelling women at high risk of falls and/or fracture completed a daily falls calendar and standardised interviews when falls were recorded, for 12 months. Data were compared to a 12-month falls recall question that categorised falls status as “no falls,” “a few times,” “several,” and “regular” falls. Results. 898 (43%) participants reported a fall on daily falls calendars of whom 692 (77%) recalled fall(s) at 12 months. Participants who did not recall a fall were older (median 79.3 years versus 77.8 years, ). Smaller proportions of fallers who sustained an injury or accessed health care failed to recall a fall (all ). Among participants who recalled “no fall,” 85% reported zero falls on daily calendars. Few women selected falls categories of “several times” or “regular” (4.1% and 0.4%, resp.) and the sensitivity of these categories was low (30% to 33%). Simply categorising participants into fallers or nonfallers had 77% sensitivity and 94% specificity. Conclusion. For studies where intensive ascertainment of falls is not feasible, 12-month falls recall questions with fewer responses may be an acceptable alternative.