Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Renfro, Mindy Oxman MS, PT, GCS, CPH
  2. Fehrer, Steven PhD, PT


Background: Unintentional falls is an increasing public health problem as incidence of falls rises and the population ages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 3 adults aged 65 years and older will experience a fall this year; 20% to 30% of those who fall will sustain a moderate to severe injury. Physical therapists caring for older adults are usually engaged with these patients after the first injury fall and may have little opportunity to abate fall risk before the injuries occur.


Purpose: This article describes the content selection and development of a simple-to-administer, multifactorial, Fall Risk Assessment & Screening Tool (FRAST), designed specifically for use in primary care settings to identify those older adults with high fall risk. Fall Risk Assessment & Screening Tool incorporates previously validated measures within a new multifactorial tool and includes targeted recommendations for intervention.


Methods: Development of the multifactorial FRAST used a 5-part process: identification of significant fall risk factors, review of best evidence, selection of items, creation of the scoring grid, and development of a recommended action plan.


Results: Fall Risk Assessment & Screening Tool has been developed to assess fall risk in the target population of older adults (older than 65 years) living and ambulating independently in the community. Many fall risk factors have been considered and 15 items selected for inclusion. Fall Risk Assessment & Screening Tool includes 4 previously validated measures to assess balance, depression, falls efficacy, and home safety. Reliability and validity studies of FRAST are under way.


Conclusion: Fall risk for community-dwelling older adults is an urgent, multifactorial, public health problem. Providing primary care practitioners (PCPs) with a very simple screening tool is imperative. Fall Risk Assessment & Screening Tool was created to allow for safe, quick, and low-cost administration by minimally trained office staff with interpretation and follow-up provided by the PCP.