Intended for healthcare professionals


Study to predict which elderly patients will fall shows difficulties in deriving and validating a model

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 15 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1309
  1. Douglas G Altman (, Heada
  1. a ICRF Medical Statistics Group, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford OX3 7LF

    This letter was intended to be published as a commentary on the paper by Oliver et al in the issue of 25 October,1 but, unfortunately, it was omitted from the published journal.

    Editor—The study by Oliver et al, of the development and evaluation of a risk assessment tool to predict which elderly patients will fall,1 is an excellent example of the difficulties to be overcome when trying to reconcile pragmatism with methodological purity. The authors set out to develop a risk score that could be used routinely by nurses looking after elderly patients. Such a tool would be of clear value.

    Some aspects of …

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