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  1. Gervasoni, Elisa PhD


Background and Purpose: Falls are a common and persistent concern among people with neurological disorders (PwND), as they frequently result in mobility deficits and may lead to loss of functional independence. This study investigated the ceiling and floor effects, internal consistency, and convergent validity of 2 patient-reported fall prevention strategy scales in PwND.


Methods: This is a prospective cohort study. Two-hundred and ninety-nine PwND (111 people with multiple sclerosis, 94 people with Parkinson's disease, and 94 people with stroke) were seen for rehabilitation and assessed. The number of retrospective and prospective falls, use of walking assistive devices, scores on the Fall Prevention Strategy Survey (FPSS), Falls Behavioural Scale (FaB), and balance and mobility scales (Berg Balance Scale, Dynamic Gait Index, Timed Up and Go, 10-m walking test, and Activities-specific Balance Confidence) were analyzed.


Results: Total score distributions showed negligible ceiling and floor effects for both the FPSS (ceiling: 0.3%, floor: 0.3%) and the FaB (ceiling: 0%, floor: 0%). The Cronbach [alpha] (CI) was of 0.87 (0.85-0.89) for the FPSS and 0.86 (0.84-0.88) for the FaB. In terms of convergent validity, the FPSS and FaB were moderately correlated (Spearman correlation coefficient = 0.65). Moreover, the correlations between the FPSS and FaB and balance and mobility scales ranged from 0.25 to 0.49 (P < .01). Both scales are slightly better able to distinguish between retrospective fallers/nonfallers [area under the curve, AUC (95% CI): FPSS: 0.61 (0.5-0.7); FaB: 0.60 (0.5-0.6)] compared with prospective fallers/nonfallers [AUC (95% CI): FPSS: 0.56 (0.4-0.6); FaB: 0.57 (0.4-0.6)]. Both scales accurately identified individuals who typically required the use of a walking assistive device for daily ambulation [AUC (95% CI): FPSS: 0.74 (0.7-0.8); FaB: 0.69 (0.6-0.7)]. Multiple regression analysis showed that previous falls, use of an assistive device, and balance confidence significantly predicted participants' prevention strategies (FPSS: R2 = 0.31, F(8,159) = 10.5, P < .01; FaB: R2 = 0.31, F(8,164) = 10.89, P < .01).


Conclusion: The FPSS and the FaB appear to be valid tools to assess fall prevention strategies in people with neurological disorders. Both scales provide unique and added value in providing information on individual behavior for fall prevention.