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Workpackage 4: Psychological aspects of falling

WP4, led by Chris Todd and Lucy Yardley, was concerned with integrating research relating to all psychological aspects of falling and falls prevention. The WP4 had three main strands of work:

1. Fear of falling. Members of WP1 and WP4 initially carried out a systematic review of the literature on measures of fear of falling and two workshops in this topic, with invited experts from across Europe. We concluded that the Falls Efficacy Scale (FES) was the best validated measure currently available, but had some limitations, especially for use in different languages and cultures. They therefore developed the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I), which has initially proven just as reliable and a little more sensitive to between group differences than the original FES. The FES-I has been further validated in German and Dutch, and translated into many different languages. A short-FES-I also exists. WP4 also carried out reviews of interventions to reduce fear of falling which can be found in the ProFaNE publications list.

2. Members of WP4 collated qualitative research on older people's attitudes to interventions to reduce the risk of falling. They developed a brief questionnaire, the Attitudes to Falls-Related Interventions Scale (AFRIS), which can be used to compare attitudes to different interventions, and to identify reasons for non-participation. They developed and published guidelines recommending how to design and present interventions so as to maximise uptake and adherence, in consultation with European and international experts in falls prevention interventions. Publications on views of older people and recommendations can be found in the ProFaNE publications list.

3. WP4 also held a workshop, with invited experts from across Europe, which concluded that self-assessment need not be very precise in identifying falls risk, but should motivate and be tied to effective self-management of risk, and that a variety of forms of self-assessment were needed. Members of WP4 developed and tested an online tool, for older people, to assess and manage their own balance abilities and offered tailored information on activities that could improve balance.

Workpackage 4 Leads:

Chris Todd: University of Manchester, UK

Lucy Yardley: University of Southampton, UK

Workpackage 4 Members:

Chantal Piot-Ziegler: University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Klaus Hauer: Universit├Ąt Heidelberg, Germany

Nina Beyer: Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark

Ruud Kempen: Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Workpackage 4 Associates:

Anna Tremmel, Anneli Sarvimaki, Claire Ballinger, Dawn Skelton, Evdokia (Vicky) Billis, Felicity Bishop, Karin Hellstrom, Kevin McKee, Kim Delbaere, Kirstie Haywood, Louise Briggs, Maggie Donovan-Hall, Maria Horne, Ramona Lucas, Samuel R Nyman, Sarah Whitehead, Therese Cuttelod.