Assessing avoidance behavior due to concerns about falling: Psychometric properties of the FES-IAB in a sample of older adults of an online panel

M. Kruisbrink*, R. Crutzen, G.I.J.M. Kempen, G.A.R. Zijlstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and Objectives: The Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) and its shorter version (Short FES-I) are widely used measures of concerns about falling (CaF) and have consistently demonstrated good psychometric properties. The FES-I Avoidance Behavior (FES-IAB) and Short FES-IAB were developed to gain insight into activity avoidance due to CaF and add a question to each item of the FES-I and Short FES-I. The objective was to assess the psychometric properties of the FES-IAB and Short FES-IAB in community-dwelling older people.Methods: A community-dwelling sample of the Dutch population (n = 744) aged 60 and over completed the FES-IAB twice with one month in between (with a follow-up response rate of 92.2%).Results: Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the unidimensionality of the FES-IAB, with high factor loadings and very good fit. The scale correlated strongly with the FES-I, and moderately with ADL disability and 1-item questions of activity avoidance and CaF. The FES-IAB discriminated well between groups based on age, sex, fall history. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were high (Cronbach's alpha: 0.92, intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.85). FES-IAB scores were positively skewed; 343 people (46.1%) had the lowest possible score of 16. The psychometric properties of the Short FES-IAB were comparable. No problems were identified with the feasibility of the FES-IAB and Short FES-IAB.Discussion: Overall, the FES-IAB and Short FES-IAB demonstrated good psychometric properties in assessing activity avoidance due to CaF in community-dwelling older people. These instruments may help researchers and clinicians to investigate the behavioral consequences of CaF.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104469
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Activity avoidance
  • Fear of falling
  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Questionnaire
  • Avoidance behavior
  • Concerns about falling
  • Psychometric properties
  • Older adults
  • FEAR

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