Combining Two Scales to Assess Risk Factors of Falling in Community-Dwelling Elderly Persons: A Preliminary Study

노인의 낙상에 영향을 주는 요인을 평가하기 위한 ABC-BBS의 적용: 사전연구

  • Park, So-Yeon (Dept. of Physical Therapy, College of Alternative Medicine, Jeonju University)
  • 박소연 (전주대학교 대체의학대학 물리치료학과)
  • Received : 2008.01.03
  • Accepted : 2008.03.15
  • Published : 2008.05.21


The purpose of this preliminary study was to develop a measurement for assessing risk factors for falling in community-dwelling elderly persons. Rasch analysis and principal component analysis were performed to examine whether items on the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC), assessing self-efficacy, and items on the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), assessing balance function, contribute jointly to a unidimensional construct in the elderly. A total of 35 elderly persons (4 men, 31 women) participated. In this study, each item of ABC (16 items) and BBS (14 items) was scored on a 5-point ordinal rating scale from 0 to 4. The initial Rasch and principal component analysis indicated that 3 of the ABC items and 2 of the BBS items were misfit for this study. These 5 items were excluded from further study. After combining ABC and BBS, Rasch and principal component analyses were examined and finally 23 items selected; 12 items from ABC, 11 items from BBS. The 23 combined ABC-BBC items were arranged in order of difficulty. The hardest item was 'walk outside on icy sidewalks' and the easiest item was 'pivot transfer'. Although structural calibration of each 5 rating scale categories was not ordered, the other three essential criteria of Linacre's optimal rating scale were satisfied. Overall, the ABC-BBS showed sound item psychometric properties. Each of the 5 rating scale categories appeared to distinctly identify subjects at different ability levels. The findings of this study support that the new ABC-BBS scale measure balance function and self-efficacy. It will be a clinically useful assessment of risk factors for falling in the elderly. However, the number of subjects was too small to generalize our results. Further study is needed to develop a new assessment considering more risk factors of falling in elderly.