Professional perceptions about home safety: cross-national validation of the Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HOME FAST)

J Allied Health. Spring 2002;31(1):22-8.


The Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HOME FAST) was developed to measure the risk of older people falling within their home environment. If this tool is to be effective, the underlying dimensions perceived by potential raters when using the HOME FAST need to be consistent with the purpose of the tool. The content validation process undertaken to evaluate the HOME FAST and a method to develop a home safety score are described. Experts in home safety assessment were recruited from the British Association of Occupational Therapy, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, and the Royal College of Nursing in the United Kingdom. Participants rated each HOME FAST item using a Thurstone technique format. Each item was weighted according to the level of perceived falls risk each expert attributed to the home safety item. Principal components factor analysis identified a two-factor structure interpreted as environment and function underlying the HOME FAST. Results indicated that no item should be deleted from the checklist. Weights were calculated for each item to generate an overall hazard score. Some differences in responses to the degree of risk associated with home safety items were noted between the professional groups. The HOME FAST has captured highly relevant home safety items considered by an expert panel and measures a domain applicable to home safety and falls risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Floors and Floorcoverings
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Lighting
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires