Screening older adults at risk of falling with the Tinetti balance scale

Lancet. 2000 Sep 16;356(9234):1001-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02695-7.


In a prospective study of 225 community dwelling people 75 years and older, we tested the validity of the Tinetti balance scale to predict individuals who will fall at least once during the following year. A score of 36 or less identified 7 of 10 fallers with 70% sensitivity and 52% specificity. With this cut-off score, 53% of the individuals were screened positive and presented a two-fold risk of falling. These characteristics support the use of this test to screen older people at risk of falling in order to include them in a preventive intervention.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Postural Balance*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve