Slip and Fall Risk Assessment

  • Feng Yang
Reference work entry


The cumulative effect of falls on older adults and on the healthcare system is immense; the results are debilitating injuries, loss of independence, and transfer to a healthcare institution, or even death. Slip-related falls contribute up to 40% of all outdoor falls in seniors, which often cause serious injuries such as hip fractures and high economic burden. Therefore, it is pressing to develop fall prevention interventions to prevent falls from happening. To identify individuals with high risk of falls could be equivalently important to the development of fall prevention paradigms because it allows the limited resources assigned to fall prevention to be directed to those who truly need the interventions. It is thus essential to establish accurate and effective fall risk assessment tools to identify those with elevated risk of falls. This chapter intends to review the approaches which can be applied in research or clinics to evaluate one’s risk of falls after a slip. Dynamic gait stability and lower limb support have been identified as two key factors leading to slip-initiated falls. In addition, muscle weakness was associated with high risk of slips and falls. Other measures including dynamic stability based on linear and nonlinear dynamics and gait parameters could also play a certain role in predicting a fall initiated by a slip. These measurements provide some useful and objective tools for the early identification of individuals with a higher risk of falling, which is important for effective deployment of fall prevention interventions.


Fall prevention Muscle strength Muscle power Dynamic stability Limb support Variability Balance loss 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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