Making fall prevention routine in primary care practice: perspectives of allied health professionals Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND:While there is strong evidence that fall prevention interventions can prevent falls in people aged 65 and over, translating evidence into routine practice is challenging. Research regarding how allied health professionals (AHPs) respond to this challenge is limited. As part of the Integrated Solutions for Sustainable Fall Prevention (iSOLVE) project, this study aimed to explore how AHPs were making fall prevention practice routine in primary care and the factors that influenced their fall prevention practice. METHODS:In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with fifteen AHPs who had attended evidence-based workshops associated with the iSOLVE project. AHPs had backgrounds in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and podiatry. Interviews explored how fall prevention was being incorporated into routine practice and the factors that influenced routinisation, including the project workshops. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. RESULTS:We found fall prevention was valued in practice and recognised as complex. AHPs worked through challenges relating to clients (multi-morbidity, complex living situations, client motivation), challenges working alongside other health professionals (understanding respective roles/overlapping roles, sense of competition, communication) and challenges associated with funding systems perceived as complicated and constantly changing. Despite these challenges, AHPs were adopting strategies for integrating fall prevention routinely. The iSOLVE workshops were perceived as important in supporting existing practice and in providing strategies to enhance practice. CONCLUSIONS:Policy makers, program managers, educators and AHPs can adopt strategies identified in this research for routinising fall prevention such as being alert that falls are common, asking every client about falls, having processes for assessing clients for fall risk, and having structured and evidence-based programs to work with clients on fall prevention. Adapting and streamlining funding systems are also important for facilitating fall prevention work.

authors

  • Liddle, Jeannine
  • Loyarini, Meryl
  • Clemson, Lindy
  • Mackenzie, Lynette
  • Tan, Amy
  • Pit, Sabrina W
  • Poulos, Roslyn
  • Tiedemann, Anne
  • Sherrington, Catherine
  • Roberts, Chris
  • Willis, Karen

publication date

  • 2018