Cross-cultural validation of the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale in Serbian community-dwelling women at risk for osteoporotic fracture

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Abstract

Objective:

Cross-cultural validation of the Serbian version of the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale (MFES).

Methods:

This cross-sectional study involved 257 women aged 65 years and above who were referred for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry examination at the Railway Healthcare Institute in Belgrade, Serbia, between January and April 2016. Data collection comprised of a sociodemographic questionnaire and Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (GDS-SF) questionnaire, and data related to fractures, level of physical activity, use of medications that can increase the risk of falls, and frequency of falls in the past 12 months. None of the study participants had been previously treated for osteoporosis. The internal consistency of the questionnaire items was assessed via Cronbach's alpha, whereas the interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to calculate test-retest reliability based on the sample of 257 women. We also evaluated concurrent, convergent, and construct validity.

Results:

Cronbach's alpha for the total assay score was 0.98. Correlations among the items ranged from 0.84 to 0.93. While ICC for the scale as a whole was 0.99 (95% confidence interval 0.98-0.99), ICC pertaining to individual items ranged from 0.82 to 0.99. Concurrent validity analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between MFES scores and the reported level of physical activity (ρ = 0.34; P < 0.01). Convergent validity was tested through the ratio of MFES and sociodemographic variables. The findings indicated presence of a significant negative correlation between the MFES scores and age (ρ = −0.32; P < 0.01), age of menopause onset (ρ = −0.16; P = 0.01), and GDS-SF scores (ρ = −0.12; P = 0.04), and positive correlation between MFES and the level of social activity (ρ = 0.22; P < 0.01). Significant differences were noted between the MFES scores of participants who had no history fractures and those who did (U = 5277.50; P < 0.01), and between scores of women who reported falling in the past 12 months and those who did not (U = 4968.50; P < 0.01). Similarly, significant differences (P < 0.01) in the scores pertaining to each MFES item were observed between women who had experienced falls in the past (n = 101) and those who had not (n = 156).

Conclusion:

The Serbian version of the MFES is a reliable and valid instrument that can be used in both clinical practice and research to describe and measure self-perceived fear of falling in older individuals.

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