Background and Objectives: Falls are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries, particularly among the elderly. A reliable instrument for self-assessment of home falls hazards would facilitate screening for falls risk. This study examined the reliability of self-assessment of home falls hazards by elderly women. Methods and Setting: Participants were 52 elderly women, aged 67 to 97. All evaluations were performed in the participants' homes. Home falls hazards were evaluated independently by study participants and by trained observers. Results: Kappa statistics indicated good to excellent agreement for most of the environmental factors. However, observers were significantly more likely than the study participants to report certain tripping hazards, particularly objects in walkways. Conclusion: This home checklist is an important step towards a reliable self-report instrument for measuring home falls hazards. Self-assessment appears to be a reliable method for assessing many putative hazards of falling in the home. However, our findings raise questions regarding the reliable assessment of tripping hazards.
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