Development of a Parkinson’s disease specific falls questionnaire

Harris, Dale ORCID: 0000-0003-4654-0179, Duckham, RL, Daly, Robin M, Abbott, Gavin, Johnson, Liam ORCID: 0000-0002-4916-049X, Rantalainen, T and Teo, WP (2021) Development of a Parkinson’s disease specific falls questionnaire. BMC Geriatrics, 21. ISSN 1471-2318


Background: Falls are a major health burden for older adults with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but there is currently no reliable questionnaire to capture the circumstances and consequences of falls in older adults with PD. This study aimed to develop a PD-specific falls questionnaire and to evaluate its test-retest reliability in older adults with PD. Methods: A novel PD-specific falls questionnaire (PDF-Q) was developed in two modes (online and paper-based version) and used to assess falls and near-falls events over the past 12-months. Questions were agreed upon by an expert group, with the domains based on previous falls-related questionnaires. The questions included the number and circumstances (activities, location and direction) of falls and near-falls, and consequences (injuries and medical treatment) of falls. The PDF-Q was distributed to 46 older adults with PD (online n = 30, paper n = 16), who completed the questionnaire twice, 4 weeks apart. Kappa (κ) statistics were used to establish test-retest reliability of the questionnaire items. Results: Pooled results from both questionnaires for all participants were used to assess the overall test-retest reliability of the questionnaire. Questions assessing the number of falls (κ = 0.41) and the number of near-falls (κ = 0.51) in the previous 12-months demonstrated weak agreement, while questions on the location of falls (κ = 0.89) and near-falls (κ = 1.0) demonstrated strong to almost perfect agreement. Questions on the number of indoor (κ = 0.86) and outdoor (κ = 0.75) falls demonstrated moderate to strong agreement, though questions related to the number of indoor (κ = 0.47) and outdoor (κ = 0.56) near-falls demonstrated weak agreement. Moderate to strong agreement scores were observed for the most recent fall and near-fall in terms of the direction (indoor fall κ = 0.80; outdoor fall κ = 0.81; near-fall κ = 0.54), activity (indoor fall κ = 0.70; outdoor fall κ = 0.82; near-fall κ = 0.65) and cause (indoor fall κ = 0.75; outdoor fall κ = 0.62; near-fall κ = 0.56). Conclusions: The new PDF-Q developed in this study was found to be reliable for capturing the circumstances and consequences of recent falls and near-falls in older adults with PD.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1186/s12877-021-02555-6
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5202 Biological psychology
Current > Division/Research > First Year College
Keywords Parkinson's disease, falls, PD, adults with Parkinson's Disease, falls questionnaire
Citations in Scopus 3 - View on Scopus
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