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A protocol for evidence-based targeting and evaluation of statewide strategies for preventing falls among community-dwelling older people in Victoria, Australia
  1. Lesley Day1,
  2. Caroline F Finch1,
  3. Keith D Hill2,3,4,
  4. Terry P Haines1,5,
  5. Lindy Clemson6,
  6. Margaret Thomas7,
  7. Catherine Thompson7
  1. 1Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Northern Health, Melbourne, Australia
  4. 4National Ageing Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
  5. 5Southern Health, Melbourne, Australia
  6. 6University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  7. 7Victorian Department of Health, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lesley Day, Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia; lesley.day{at}monash.edu

Abstract

Background Falls are a significant threat to the safety, health and independence of older citizens. Despite the now substantial evidence about effective falls prevention interventions, translation into falls reductions has not yet been fully realised. While the hip fracture rate is decreasing, the number and rate of fall-related hospital admissions among older people is increasing. The challenge now is to deliver the most effective interventions efficiently at a population level, and for these interventions to be taken up by older people.

Objective To support the development, and evaluation of, effective falls prevention policy and practice in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Methods The RE-AIM model (Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) was used to identify strategies for an effective programme. Research objectives were developed to support the strategies. These include: (1) identification of subgroups of older people most frequently admitted to hospital for falls; (2) examining the acceptability of established falls interventions; (3) identification of factors that encourage and support relevant lifestyle changes; (4) identifying opportunities to incorporate confirmed interventions in existing programmes and services; (5) developing guidelines for sustainability. The research results will subsequently guide strategy details for the falls prevention plan. RE-AIM will provide the framework for the evaluation structure.

Outcome measures Measures to monitor the implementation of the selected interventions will be determined for each intervention, based on the five key factors of the RE-AIM model. The overall effect of the falls prevention plan will be monitored by time series analysis of fall-related hospital admission rates for community-dwelling older people.

  • Accidental falls
  • aged
  • elderly
  • evidence-based practice
  • falls
  • policy development

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Footnotes

  • Funding This study was funded by a partnership project grant (ID 546282) from the Australian government National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and partnership funding from the Victorian Department of Health. CFF is supported by an NHMRC principal research fellowship (ID 565900).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Research components 1–3 have been approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee. Research component 4 will be subject to approval by the Latrobe University Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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