Initial Validation of the Toulouse St. Louis University Mini Falls Assessment in Older Adults
Falls are one of the most prevalent health issues facing older adults. This study examines the validity of the Toulouse-St. Louis University Mini Falls Assessment (TSLUMFA). Objectives were to validate the TSLUMFA by testing if it differentiates between prior non fallers (n=80) and fallers (n=23), and predicts future falls as well as or better than the gold standard Tinetti Gait and Balance Instrument (TGBI). Examine if the subset of FRAIL Scale items on the TSLUMFA distinguishes between previous non fallers (n=75) and fallers (n=20), and predicts future falls as well as or better than the TGBI. Identify TSLUMFA cut offs scores for fall risk.
Prospective validation study.
Participants were ambulatory patients presenting to the SLU Geriatrics Clinic.
103 ambulatory older adults.
Fall risk was assessed using the three assessments. Outcome measures were previous falls and follow up falls.
TSLUMFA, FRAIL, and TGBI differentiated between previous fallers and non fallers. A TSLUMFA score <23 stratified patients as moderate risk (Sensitivity=0.806 Specificity=0.776) and a score <21 stratified patients as high risk (Sensitivity=0.929 Specificity=0.897). 78% of patients (n=80) participated in follow up and 20% (n=16) of these patients fell during follow up. TSLUMFA and TGBI absolute scores were lower among patients who fell during the follow up period versus non fallers but the observed differences were not statistically significant (TSLUMFA P=0.123 and TGBI P=0.074).
This study validated the TSLUMFA and FRAIL. No test predicted falls with statistical significance (most likely due to the low follow up participation) but a positive trend was seen. Clinical recommendations from this study are to use the FRAIL as an initial fall screen and patients scoring > 3 should be analyzed by TSLUMFA. The TSLUMFA’s advantage is that it pinpoints areas that will directly benefit from therapy to reduce falls.
Key wordsFalls FRAIL Tinetti balance
- 6.Liddle J, Gilleard C. The emotional consequences of falls for patients and their families. Age Ageing. 1994;23(Suppl 4):17.Google Scholar
- 10.Cameron ID, Murray GR, Gillespie LD, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people in nursing care facilities and hospitals. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010(1):CD005465.Google Scholar