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.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.