Screening

At present, no one screening test can be recommended to identify potential fallers (Gates et al., 2008). The two best predictors of falls are a history of falls and a reported abnormality in gait or balance (Ganz et al., 2007). "Have you had any falls in the past year?" is a simple screening question that can be answered by the patient or caregiver in a previsit questionnaire. For patients who have not fallen, the pretest probability of a fall in the upcoming year ranges from 19% to 36%. Also, asking the patient, "Have you noticed any problems with gait, balance, or mobility?" is another simple screening question. Answering "yes" to either screening question warrants further assessment (Tinetti, 2003).

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