A Collaborative Implementation Strategy to Increase Falls Prevention Training Using the Age-Friendly Health Systems Approach
Severance, Jennifer J.
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Falls in the home and in community environments are the leading cause of injuries and long-term disabilities for the aging population. The purpose of this study was to examine outcomes of a partnership among an academic institution, government agency, community organizations, and emergency management services to implement a falls prevention training program using an Age-Friendly Health Systems approach. In this prospective study, partners identified gaps in services and targeted and non-targeted delivery areas for implementation of an evidence-based falls prevention intervention addressing the 4Ms of Age-Friendly Health Systems-Mobility, Medications, Mentation, and What Matters. Descriptive statistics were calculated for program implementation and participant demographic variables, and paired t-test analysis compared scores for self-assessed general health and falls efficacy prior to and after program participation. Twenty-seven falls prevention classes were implemented, with over half (52%) in targeted areas. A total of 354 adults aged 50 and older participated, with N = 188 participants (53%) completing the program by attending at least five of eight sessions. Of completers, 35% resided in targeted areas. The results showed a statistically significant improvement in falls efficacy by program completers in targeted and non-targeted areas. However, there was no statistically significant difference in self-rated health. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that collaboration to deliver falls prevention training can be effective in reaching at-risk older adults. By mobilizing collaborative partnerships, limited resources can be allocated towards identifying at-risk older adults and improving community-based falls prevention education.