Preliminary evaluation of a self-guided fall risk assessment tool for older adults

Ruopeng Sun, Roberto G. Aldunate, Vignesh R. Paramathayalan, Rama Ratnam, Sanjiv Jain, Daniel G. Morrow, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Falls are a major health problem for older adults with significant physical and psychological consequences. The first step of successful fall prevention is to identify those at risk of falling. Recent technology advancement offers the possibility of objective, lowcost and self-guided fall risk assessment. The present work evaluated the preliminary validity and usability of a Kinect camera-based selfinitiated fall risk assessment system in a hospital setting. A convenience sample of 29 female participants (77.5 ± 7.9 years old) enrolled in this study. This low-cost self-guided system included a Kinect depth-sensing camera, a PC-based computer, and custom-built software. An onscreen Fall Risk Assessment Avatar (FRAAn) utilizing visual and verbal instructions led participants through a fall risk assessment consisting of self-report measures and clinically validated balance and mobility tests. Participants also completed clinical fall risk evaluation (Timed-Up and Go, and Berg Balance Scale) led by a researcher. User experience was evaluated by the System Usability Scale (SUS). Results indicate that FRAAn-based outcome measures (postural sway metrics, and sit-to-stand speed) were highly correlated with clinical fall risk measures, and were able to differentiate individuals with increased fall risk. Additionally, 83% participants reported high usability (SUS > 80), indicating the system is well received among older users. Overall, our results indicate that the FRAAn system has promise for providing a self-guided fall risk assessment, and is well received by older users. This affordable, portable and self-guided system has potential to facilitate objective fall risk assessment in older adults in various settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-99
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Balance
  • Fall risk
  • Mobility
  • Older adults
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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