Statement of Purpose Fall injuries pose a global public health problem among elderly, and the risk of fall injury is especially high among elderly living in residential care. We have evaluated an impact absorbing floor (IAF) as an energy reducing measure to prevent fall injuries. The aim was to investigate the fall injury reducing effects of IAF in residential care, as well as the staff’s perception of the IAF.
Methods/Approach The intervention site was a residential care unit in Sweden with IAF. To investigate the fall injury reducing effect, falls on impact absorbing flooring were compared to falls on regular flooring. To describe the staff’s experiences a qualitative focus group interview study was conducted.
Results The results show that for women the risk of injury was 59% less on impact absorbing flooring compared to falls on ordinary floors. The staff perceived that the floor reduced the risk of injury. They were positively surprised by the effect that the floor hade on moderating acoustics. There were also some challenges associated with the floor, as adapting to walking on IAF and manoeuvring equipment (e.g., hoists).
Conclusions The results suggest that for an elderly and frail population, IAF can reduce injury and that the staffs were willing to accept the intervention given the perceived effectiveness of the intervention.
Significance and Contributions to Injury and Violence Prevention Science IAF is a relatively new fall injury prevention intervention with the potential to target the substantial problem of fall injuries among frail elderly.