- Six months after receiving a falls risk assessment, 79% accurately recalled their fall risk, 68% recalled at least one recommendation, and 57% followed at least one recommendation.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Secondary to the frequency and consequences of falls, screening for fall risk is critical for all adults 65 years and older. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) for screening, assessing and intervening on fall risks (1). See Figure 1 for an overview of the STEADI Initiative (1).
The STEADI can be used in both clinical and community settings. The success of the STEADI recommendations partially depend on the patients’ adherence to the recommendations. Previous research, including systematic reviews, have identified that approximately 50% of community-dwelling older adults adhere to fall prevention recommendations and 21% of older adults fully adhere to fall-prevention exercise regimen (2,3). However, no studies have ever examined older adults’ perceptions regarding the fall prevention recommendations provided.
This study examined community-dwelling older adults’ recall of the fall risk and prevention recommendations provided at a STEADI based fall risk screening and assessment event completed 6 months prior. Additionally, the authors examined the participants’ perceptions of factors related to adherence to the recommendations and their perceptions of what healthcare providers can do to facilitate participation in fall prevention activities.
Physical therapists can incorporate the facilitators, such as reminder phone calls, to increase adherence to fall prevention recommendations.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with community-dwelling older adults, 6 months after they attended a voluntary community-based fall risk assessment. It is important to note that the fall risk assessment was open to any older adult interested in learning about their