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Ann Geriatr Med Res > Volume 21(4); 2017 > Article
Annals of Geriatric Medicine and Research 2017;21(4):174-181.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2017.
Discrepancy Between Quarterly Recall and Annual Recall of Falls: A Survey of Older Adults
Jinho Yoo, Sunyoung Kim, Woo Chul Park, Byung Sung Kim, Hyunrim Choi, Chang Won Won
<sup>1</sup>Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, <sup>2</sup>Department of Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence:  Chang Won Won, Tel: +82-2-958-8691, Fax: +82-2-958-8699, 
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.
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.
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 recallin the 1-year survey.
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.
Key Words: Accidental falls, Mental recall, Frail elderly, Surveys and questionnaires

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