Purpose: The HOME FAST was developed and trialled in Australia as a screening tool designed to be used by any health professional to identify older people at increased risk of falls and to facilitate referral for more detailed assessment and intervention. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical utility of the HOME FAST from the perspective of users.
Method: A mixed-methods approach using survey data (n = 32), focus group data (n = 46) and interview data (n = 5) from occupational therapists, physiotherapists, community nurses and other health professionals working in hospitals, community services and private practice, located in the UK, Canada and Australia. Data were integrated using a matrix of quantitative and qualitative data that aligned the findings with established theoretical constructs of clinical utility.
Results: Findings across the data sources provide evidence of the clinical utility of the HOME FAST, and these findings align with theoretical constructs about how a tool such as the HOME FAST is adopted in practice.
Conclusion: The HOME FAST can be used in a variety of international setting in developed countries and by different health professionals as a screening tool. A manual would assist in the consistent application of the HOME FAST. Implications for Rehabilitation Hazards in the home environment are a key contributor to falls risk for older people The Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HOME FAST) was designed for any health professional to screen older people at increased risk of falling because of home hazards. Even with psychometric evidence of the reliability and validity of a tool, it is critical that the tool can be easily adopted by clinicians (clinical utility), otherwise its applicability to practice and research is limited. An international mixed-method study has provided evidence of the clinical utility of the HOME FAST.
Keywords: Accidental falls; ageing; home assessment; home environment; home hazards; occupational therapy.