Fall Prevention Intervention for Community Living Older Adults
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Consequences from falls are a serious health threat for people over age 65. Injury or death from falls, coupled with the increasing population of older Americans is an economic and social strain. The purpose of this quasi-experimental, evidence-based improvement project was to reduce the number of falls and lessen the fear of falling for community-living older adults over age 65. There were 31 participants recruited from a geriatric primary care clinic in an urban city in Kansas. The intervention first utilized a Fall Risk Questionnaire (FRQ) screening tool to assess the participant’s fall risk, then employed a physical or exercise therapy recommendation for strengthening and balance exercises for high fall risk patients. Outcomes measured by the FRQ pre- and post-implementation included the number of falls, questionnaire score, and self-reported fear of falling. There was no statistically significant difference in total FRQ scores pre- and post-intervention. The mean FRQ score for participants who did not implement any recommended physical activity increased indicating elevated fall risk. In contrast, the score of the exercise group remained the same pre- and post-intervention. Eighty-eight percent of the falls experienced post-intervention were in the non-exercising group. This evidence-based intervention showed a positive benefit to older adult patients at the clinic and could become standard of practice at the clinic.
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