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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
1Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department 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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