Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D., OTR/L

First Reader

Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study examined the reliability and validity of FRET to predict falls in community-dwelling individuals with acquired brain injuries (ABI).

Method: The target population was English speaking, community-dwelling individuals 18 years or older who have sustained an ABI. Individuals were excluded if they had neurodegenerative diseases, used a wheelchair for more than 25% of the day, or were classified as globally confused. Global confusion was assessed using the first three-questions on the Saint Louis University Mental Examination (SLUMS). A total of 12 participants were recruited for the study, two were excluded and there was one attrition. After the Fall Risk Evaluation Tool (FRET) was administered, participants were instructed to record whenever they had a fall in the following three months in the provided fall journal. Researchers made telephone calls every two weeks to remind the participants to record falls. At the end of the three months, each participant returned the fall journal by mail in a self-addressed envelope.

Results: A Spearman’s Rank correlation was used to analyze the data to detect any correlation between the risk rank as determined by FRET and the fall rank determined by the number of times a participant fell. There was a positive relationship between the risk rank and the fall rank.

Conclusion: There is a lack of valid and reliable multifactorial assessments to assess fall risk in individuals with ABI. FRET was developed to assess fall risk in individuals with ABI. Although we had a small sample size, our pilot study returned significant data that FRET may be a valid and reliable multifactorial tool for assessing individuals with ABI who are at risk for falling.

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