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Assessment and management of falls in older people

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Falls remain a major cause of mortality and morbidity for older Australians, despite considerable growth in falls prevention activity in recent years. Risk factors for falls are well defined, and there is a growing evidence base from randomized controlled trials in community settings indicating a range of effective individual and multiple strategy interventions to reduce falls and falls injuries. These range from health promotion approaches, such as group exercise programmes, through to multidisciplinary, multifactorial interventions for high-risk populations. Practitioners need to utilize a range of strategies to enhance uptake and sustained participation in falls prevention activities. Future research needs to address important gaps, such as compliance issues, and interventions for people with cognitive impairment, dizziness and vision loss. Further research is also required in residential care and hospital settings, where there is relatively little research evidence to guide practice. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 557−564)

Keywords: assessment; elderly; falls; injury; intervention

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Falls and Balance Clinic, Melbourne Extended Care and Rehabilitation Service, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2004


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