OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the reliability and user experiences of an automated telephone system to monitor falls during a prolonged period of time.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: Four neurological outpatient clinics in the Netherlands.
PARTICIPANTS: One hundred nineteen community-dwelling people with Parkinson's disease without dementia, because falls are common in this population.
MEASUREMENTS: Clinical and demographic data were obtained. The Falls Telephone is a computerized telephone system through which participants can enter the number of falls during a particular period. During a follow-up of 1 to 40 weekly calls, 2,465 calls were made. In total, 173 no-fall entries and 115 fall entries were verified using personal telephone interviews. User experiences were evaluated in 90 of the 119 participants using structured telephone interviews.
RESULTS: All no-fall entries and 78% of fall entries were confirmed to be correct. Sensitivity to detect falls was 100%, and specificity was 87%. Users regarded the Falls Telephone as a convenient tool to monitor falls.
CONCLUSION: The Falls Telephone is a convenient and reliable instrument to monitor falls. The automated system has high specificity, obviating the need for time-consuming personal follow-up calls in the majority of nonfallers. As such, the Falls Telephone lends itself well to data collection in large trials with prolonged follow-up in participants with Parkinson's disease.
- Accidental Falls
- Aged, 80 and over
- Follow-Up Studies
- Geriatric Assessment
- Health Surveys
- Management Information Systems
- Middle Aged
- Prospective Studies
- Reproducibility of Results
- Comparative Study
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't