The interrater and test-retest reliability of the Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HOME FAST) in Malaysia: Using raters with a range of professional backgrounds

J Eval Clin Pract. 2017 Jun;23(3):662-669. doi: 10.1111/jep.12697. Epub 2017 Jan 20.


Rationale, aims and objectives: Falls can be a devastating issue for older people living in the community, including those living in Malaysia. Health professionals and community members have a responsibility to ensure that older people have a safe home environment to reduce the risk of falls. Using a standardised screening tool is beneficial to intervene early with this group. The Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HOME FAST) should be considered for this purpose; however, its use in Malaysia has not been studied. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the interrater and test-retest reliability of the HOME FAST with multiple professionals in the Malaysian context.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to evaluate interrater reliability where the HOME FAST was used simultaneously in the homes of older people by 2 raters and a prospective design was used to evaluate test-retest reliability with a separate group of older people at different times in their homes. Both studies took place in an urban area of Kuala Lumpur.

Results: Professionals from 9 professional backgrounds participated as raters in this study, and a group of 51 community older people were recruited for the interrater reliability study and another group of 30 for the test-retest reliability study. The overall agreement was moderate for interrater reliability and good for test-retest reliability. The HOME FAST was consistently rated by different professionals, and no bias was found among the multiple raters.

Conclusion: The HOME FAST can be used with confidence by a variety of professionals across different settings. The HOME FAST can become a universal tool to screen for home hazards related to falls.

Keywords: aged; falls; health promotion; home hazards; multidisciplinary; psychometric.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Observer Variation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment