Effectiveness of the "Timed Up and Go" (TUG) and the Chair test as screening tools for geriatric fall risk assessment in the ED.

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OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the "Timed Up and Go" (TUG) and the Chair test as screening tools in the Emergency Department (ED), stratified by sex.

METHODS: This prospective cohort study was conducted at a Level 1 Trauma center. After consent, subjects performed the TUG and the Chair test. Subjects were contacted for phone follow-up and asked to self-report interim falling.

RESULTS: Data from 192 subjects were analyzed. At baseline, 71.4% (n = 137) screened positive for increased falls risk based on the TUG evaluation, and 77.1% (n = 148) scored below average on the Chair test. There were no differences by patient sex. By the six-month evaluation 51 (26.6%) study participants reported at least one fall. Females reported a non-significant higher prevalence of falls compared to males (29.7% versus 22.2%, p = 0.24). TUG test had a sensitivity of 70.6% (95% CI: 56.2%-82.5%), a specificity of 28.4% (95% CI: 21.1%-36.6%), a positive predictive (PP) value 26.3% (95% CI: 19.1%-34.5%) and a negative predictive (NP) value of 72.7% (95% CI: 59.0%-83.9%). Similar results were observed with the Chair test. It had a sensitivity of 78.4% (95% CI: 64.7%-88.7%), a specificity of 23.4% (95% CI: 16.7%-31.3%), a PP value 27.0% (95% CI: 20.1%-34.9%) and a NP value of 75.0% (95% CI: 59.7%-86.8%). No significant differences were observed between sexes.

CONCLUSIONS: There were no sex specific significant differences in TUG or Chair test screening performance. Neither test performed well as a screening tool for future falls in the elderly in the ED setting.




Emergency Medicine




Administration and Leadership, Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty, Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Students

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