Falls in rural and remote community dwelling older adults: a review of the literature

Boehm, Jackie, Franklin, Richard C., and King, Jemma C. (2014) Falls in rural and remote community dwelling older adults: a review of the literature. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22 (4). pp. 146-155.

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Objective: Falls in older adults represent a significant challenge in Australia; however, the focus is often on urban-dwelling older adults. The aim of this review was to explore the literature on falls epidemiology and falls prevention interventions (FPI).

Design: A literature review was conducted searching Medline, Scopus, Social Sciences Citation Index, Google Scholar, Google and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publication catalogue.

Setting: Rural and remote Australia.

Participants: Rural and remote community dwelling Australians aged 50 years and older.

Intervention: Literature review.

Main outcome measures: Falls epidemiology and effective falls prevention interventions.

Results: Twenty references were identified: 14 related to falls epidemiology and 7 to FPI. No significant differences were found between rural, remote and major cities residents in relation to falls hospitalisation, falls mortality or fall-related injuries sustained. There are a wide assortment of health professionals and non-health professionals who are involved in providing FPI in rural and remote Australia. However, there was limited information on the effectiveness of these interventions in influencing falls outcomes.

Conclusion: Few studies explored falls and their prevention in rural and remote Australia. The limited literature on the topic suggests that a change in focus to one that utilises existing services and resources will be required to create sustainable outcomes. Four areas are proposed for concentrated effort to reduce the impact of fall-related injury in rural and remote Australia: integration and collaboration among health professionals, promotion of physical activity across the lifespan, community involvement and ownership of interventions, and evaluation and publication of findings.

Item ID: 36180
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: community programme, elderly, falls prevention, intervention, safety, senior
Funders: Queensland Injury Prevention Council (QIPC), Queensland Health
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:01
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 100%
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