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Open Access Research article

Diagnostic accuracy of the STRATIFY clinical prediction rule for falls: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jennifer Billington, Tom Fahey and Rose Galvin*

Author Affiliations

HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, Department of General Practice, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland

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BMC Family Practice 2012, 13:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-76

Published: 7 August 2012

Abstract

Background

The STRATIFY score is a clinical prediction rule (CPR) derived to assist clinicians to identify patients at risk of falling. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the overall diagnostic accuracy of the STRATIFY rule across a variety of clinical settings.

Methods

A literature search was performed to identify all studies that validated the STRATIFY rule. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool. A STRATIFY score of ≥2 points was used to identify individuals at higher risk of falling. All included studies were combined using a bivariate random effects model to generate pooled sensitivity and specificity of STRATIFY at ≥2 points. Heterogeneity was assessed using the variance of logit transformed sensitivity and specificity.

Results

Seventeen studies were included in our meta-analysis, incorporating 11,378 patients. At a score ≥2 points, the STRATIFY rule is more useful at ruling out falls in those classified as low risk, with a greater pooled sensitivity estimate (0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.80) than specificity (0.57, 95% CI 0.45 – 0.69). The sensitivity analysis which examined the performance of the rule in different settings and subgroups also showed broadly comparable results, indicating that the STRATIFY rule performs in a similar manner across a variety of different ‘at risk’ patient groups in different clinical settings.

Conclusion

This systematic review shows that the diagnostic accuracy of the STRATIFY rule is limited and should not be used in isolation for identifying individuals at high risk of falls in clinical practice.

Keywords:
Falls assessment; STRATIFY; Sensitivity and specificity; Systematic review; Meta-analysis