Introduction: Falls are the leading cause of death and disability among people 65 years of age and older. Likewise, falls have psychological consequences which often lead to avoidance of activities, fear of falling, and further disabilities. Even though the impact of falls on one’s daily life and independence are substantial, evidence suggests that falls can be prevented by multi-factorial assessments and client-specific interventions. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine (a) perceived knowledge of falls, (b) reported confidence in fall prevention, (c) perceived likelihood of implementing falls screening recommendations, (d) reported fear of falling, and (e) perceived value and satisfaction among community-dwelling older adults who attended an interdisciplinary falls screening and education event. Methods: An interdisciplinary group of professionals from behavioral sciences, family medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, and physical therapy screened 33 community dwelling older adult participants (66-84 years of age) using multi-factorial assessments and discipline-specific screening tools. Individualized recommendations were provided to each participant in verbal and written formats. Participants then completed a questionnaire at the conclusion of the event regarding their perceptions of knowledge gained about falls, confidence in preventing falls, perceived likelihood of implementing fall screening recommendations, fear of falling, and overall feedback regarding the event. Results: The majority of the participants indicated increased perceived knowledge of falls, confidence in preventing falls, and perceived high likelihood of implementing recommendations, along with decreased fear of falling. The majority of the participants also found the event to be valuable (85%), enjoyable (94%), and easy to understand (100%). Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that participants found this falls screening event to be valuable and improved their knowledge regarding falls, as well as their confidence in being able to prevent falls. This study highlights the potential value of an interdisciplinary team approach to increase knowledge, enhance prevention, and decrease fear of falling in community dwelling older adults.
The authors would like to thank Midwestern University's College of Health Sciences Geriatric Research and Education Facilitation Grant for their support in this study.
Knecht-Sabres LJ, Hanke TA, Lee MM, Wallingford M, Palmisano L, Elliott-Burke T, Huntington-Alfano K, Higgins S, Dillon T, Mazan J. A Pilot Interdisciplinary Falls Screening and Educational Event: Perceptions of Community-Dwelling Older Adults. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2022 Jan 10;20(1), Article 19.