Baseline indicators for measuring progress in preventing falls injury in older people Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Over recent years, there has been increasing attention given to preventing falls and falls injury in older people through policy and other initiatives. This paper presents a baseline set of fall injury outcome indicators against which these preventive efforts can be assessed in terms of monitoring the rate of fall-related deaths and hospitalisations. METHODS: ICD-10-AM coded hospital separations, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) mortality and ABS population data were used to determine the rate of fall-related injury mortality and hospitalisations occurring in people aged 65+ years in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, over the six-year period from 1998/99 to 2003/04, inclusive. RESULTS: Baseline trends for one fatality and five separations-based metrics are presented. Overall, fall mortality rates increased over the six years, with higher rates in males. Falls hospitalisation rates also increased slightly, with higher rates in females. The rates of hip fracture and pelvic fracture hospital separations generally declined over the six years and were highest in females. The level of unspecified and missing information about the place where falls occur increased by 1.5%. CONCLUSION: Baseline trends in fall injury outcome metrics highlight the severity and frequency of fall injuries before wide scale implementation of the Management Policy to Reduce Fall Injury Among Older People in NSW. IMPLICATIONS: Future use of these metrics will help to evaluate and monitor the progress of falls prevention in older people in NSW. They could also be adopted in other jurisdictions.

publication date

  • October 2009