Ann Geriatr Med Res 2017; 21(4): 174-181
Discrepancy Between Quarterly Recall and Annual Recall of Falls: A Survey of Older Adults
Jinho Yoo1, Sunyoung Kim2, Woo-Chul Park1, Byung-Sung Kim1, Hyunrim Choi1, Chang Won Won1
1Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, 2Department of Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Chang Won Won, MD, PhD
Department of Family Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, 23 Kyunghee dae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea
Tel: +82-2-958-8691
Received: September 1, 2017; Revised: September 12, 2017; Accepted: September 26, 2017; Published online: December 31, 2017.
© The Korea Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Accurate measurement of the frequency of falls is challenging because falls can only be self-reported. We hypothesized that quarterly surveys over a year would be superior to a 1-time annual survey for older adults to recall the number of falls they experienced more accurately.
Methods: We recruited 317 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years and older at a senior welfare center in Seoul, Korea. Older adults without cognitive deficit were included for follow-up. All eligible participants were surveyed via telephone every 3 months over 1-year period by trained investigators and asked to recall their total number of falls over the last 1 year at the end of the study.
Results: Two hundred forty-seven participants completed all follow-ups, and 58 of them reported at least 1 fall per year. Twenty-nine participants recalled the same number of falls in 4 quarterly surveys and 1-year survey and the other 29 participants recalled differently. Participants who fell more than once (16, 55.2%) had a higher recall discrepancy than those who fell only once (11, 37.9%) according to the sum of quarterly surveys. Among 58 fallers, 56 reported falling in quarterly surveys, and 47 reported falling in the 1-year survey, indicating an approximately 19% reduction in the rate of recall in the 1-year survey.
Conclusion: Repeated surveys with a shorter recall period of 3 months or less may yield a more accurate measurement of falls than a survey with a recall period of 1 year.
Keywords: Accidental falls, Mental recall, Frail elderly, Surveys and questionnaires

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