In BC, the population of adults over 65 years of age is growing rapidly. The risk of injurious falls increases with age, resulting in a major threat to the quality of life of older adults. Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among seniors (>65 years) in BC, and there are over 13 000 hospitalizations per year, resulting in $485 million in direct healthcare costs. The majority of these falls occur among community living seniors. Public education on the magnitude of the problem, and the fact that falls and injuries are preventable with evidence informed strategies, is important for the implementation and sustained use of these prevention strategies. The FindingBalanceBC website has been providing falls prevention information to citizens across BC for the last 3 years.
The purpose of our study was to evaluate the level of knowledge retention of visitors to the Finding Balance BC website, which promotes the Senior Falls Prevention Campaign, for the purposes of quality assurance and program improvement.
During the month of November, visitors to the FindingBalanceBC website were invited to participate in the survey and those who expressed their consent were enrolled in the study. A questionnaire assessing knowledge of evidence-informed falls prevention strategies among seniors (exercise, vision check, medication review and home safety) based on the website content was prepared and pre-tested. Participants completed the questionnaire at the 4th week and 10th week following their first visit to the website.
Respondent composite scores for each of the fall prevention strategies will be calculated and the respective scores for the 4th week and 10th week will be compared using paired t-tests. Results and policy implications will be presented at the conference.