New methods for fall risk prediction

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Sep;17(5):407-11. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000081.


Purpose of review: Accidental falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalization in old age, with over one-third of the older adults experiencing at least one fall or more each year. Because of limited healthcare resources, regular objective fall risk assessments are not possible in the community on a large scale. New methods for fall prediction are necessary to identify and monitor those older people at high risk of falling who would benefit from participating in falls prevention programmes.

Recent findings: Technological advances have enabled less expensive ways to quantify physical fall risk in clinical practice and in the homes of older people. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that sensor-based fall risk assessments of postural sway, functional mobility, stepping and walking can discriminate between fallers and nonfallers.

Summary: Recent research has used low-cost, portable and objective measuring instruments to assess fall risk in older people. Future use of these technologies holds promise for assessing fall risk accurately in an unobtrusive manner in clinical and daily life settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Gait*
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Risk Assessment*