J Am Acad Audiol 2013; 24(10): 1001-1005
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.24.10.11
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2013) American Academy of Audiology

Falls in the Audiology Clinic: A Pilot Study

Robin E. Criter
Julie A. Honaker
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
06 August 2020 (online)

Background: Falls are a common and often preventable cause of injury and death among older adults. Hearing loss, vestibular disorders, dizziness, and imbalance are common risk factors for falls; however, the rate of falls among older audiology patients has never been assessed.

Purpose: To examine the fall history and risk factors of older adults seen in a university audiology clinic.

Research Design: A descriptive and correlational retrospective chart review of fall history and characteristics of patients seen in a university audiology clinic.

Study Sample: 88 (51 women, 37 men) patients aged 60 yr and older seen in a university audiology clinic.

Data Collection and Analysis: At the time of hearing evaluation, clinic patients filled out the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, as well as a history form containing fall-related questions. These measures, as well as demographic information (gender and age) were retrieved during a retrospective chart review. Data were analyzed with independent-samples t-tests, Pearson correlations, and descriptive statistics.

Results: Fifty percent of the study sample reported falling within the preceding 12 mo, while 70% reported having fallen at some point in the past. ABC Scale score was negatively correlated with age and number of recent falls.

Conclusions: There appears to be a higher prevalence of falls within a university audiology clinic relative to previously published fall rates in the general population.