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Title: Use of a Fall Prevention Practice Guideline for Community-Dwelling Older Persons at Risk for Falling: A Feasibility Study
Authors: Milisen, Koen ×
Geeraerts, Annelies
Dejaeger, Eddy #
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Publisher: Karger
Series Title: Gerontology vol:55 issue:2 pages:169-178
Abstract: Background: Falls among older persons occur frequently and are a common cause of physical and psychological morbidity and healthcare utilization. The problem can be attributed to a complex interaction between health-related, behavioral and environmental factors. To ensure a uniform and evidence-based approach, a practice guideline was developed for fall prevention in community-dwelling older persons at risk for falls. Objective: To test the feasibility of integrating a fall prevention practice guideline into the daily practice of 4 primary healthcare disciplines, i.e. general practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Methods: This was a descriptive study which was carried out by 10 local health networks located throughout Flanders. The subjects involved in the study were 99 primary care workers and 1,142 community-dwelling older patients (65 years or older) who could rise from a chair and transfer independently. For 6 months, primary care workers implemented our fall prevention guideline, which consisted of 3 parts (case finding, multifactorial in-depth assessment and interventions). After the 6-month trial phase, participating primary care workers were asked to complete a semistructured questionnaire to evaluate the feasibility of using the guideline in daily practice. Results: The average time spent on carrying out the guideline was 32.0 +/- 14.0 min. Healthcare workers from all 4 disciplines considered case finding to be their responsibility. The picture was different for the evaluation of risk factors and interventions. Although 87.5% considered fall prevention to be an important issue, healthcare workers from different disciplines failed to agree about how to integrate the prevention guideline into daily practice. Perceived barriers to implementing the guideline were lack of time (57.3%), poor motivation of the target population (53.3%) and insufficient cooperation between healthcare workers (37.3%). Conclusion: A guideline can be used to initiate the integration of prevention strategies into daily practice. Case finding is feasible for all disciplines. Multifactorial assessment and interventions require specific task allocation, multidisciplinary cooperation and clear communication.
URI: 
ISSN: 0304-324X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery
Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology Section
Gerontology and Geriatrics
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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