Key messages

  • A range of tools are available to health care providers and services, to help prevent older Victorians from falling.
  • Tools include Falls risk for older people - Community setting (FROP-Com), Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT), Community Falls Prevention Program Sustainability Guidelines and Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare resources and standards.

This page describes tools available to health care providers and services, to help prevent older Victorians from falling.

Falls risk for older people: community setting (FROP-Com)

Health care providers and services can use the FROP-Com assessment tool in community settings. It involves rating 13 risk factors, usually on a scale of 0-3.

The FROP-Com Guidelines comprise two sections:

  • Section 1 contains definitions and scoring options.
  • Section 2 lists possible intervention to consider for identified risk factors.

FROP-Com Screen uses the three items that best predict falls risk in a 12 month period. It has high retest and inter-rater reliability, and a moderate ability to predict falls in older people presenting to an emergency department after a fall.

For more information on FROP-Com, please contact the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) on (03) 8387 2305.

Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT)

The Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) comprises three parts:

  • Part 1 - falls risk status (can be used as a falls risk screen)
  • Part 2 - risk factor checklist
  • Part 3 - action plan.

The tool is available as a PDF and a Word document.

The FRAT pack includes:

  • validated risk assessment tool (FRAT) and guidelines
  • multidisciplinary intervention strategies to reduce falls and falls injury
  • staff development and training information and material
  • a range of other material related to quality improvement, guidelines for prescribing medication, an incident form, environmental checklists, brochures, and additional resources and recommended reading etc.

The FRAT is a validated tool, so we do not recommend using the changes to Part 1. Validation of the FRAT resource was reported in September 2009: Four-item fall risk screening tool for subacute and residential aged care.

The cognitive status question in Part 1 refers to the Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS).

The Peninsula Health Falls Prevention Service developed the FRAT tool in 1999. The complete FRAT Pack and Facilitators Guide is available from Peninsula Health Falls Prevention Service for a charge. Please call (03) 9788 1260

Community Falls Prevention Program sustainability guidelines

The Community Falls Prevention Program sustainability guidelines help agencies to plan program sustainability, so falls prevention programs are effective over the longer term. Effective long term programs may help reduce rates of falls and injuries in Victoria.

The guidelines were developed as part of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Grant: Reducing falls among older people in Victoria: better evidence, better targeting, better outcomes.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQH) has several initiatives to help health services to reduce falls, and the resulting patient harm.
  • Falls prevention resources contains best practice guides and fact sheets for preventing falls in community care, residential aged care and hospitals
  • National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards improve the quality of health care in Australia. Standard 10 covers preventing falls and harm from falls.
  • The Safety and quality improvement guide for Standard 10: preventing falls and harm from falls can help agencies implement Standard 10.

For more information visit the commission website.