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Determining the Effectiveness of a Falls Prevention Programme to Enhance Quality of Life: an Occupational Therapy Perspective

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Falls are common in older people and become more frequent with advancing age. Falling in older people is associated with mortality, decreased mobility, premature nursing home admissions and a reduced ability to perform activities of daily living. In an attempt to reduce the incidence of falls, the National Service Framework for Older People has emphasised the need to develop falls services that provide support for older people who have fallen and use health promotion initiatives. While there is evidence to suggest that home modifications can reduce falls in older people, there has been little research to evaluate the effectiveness of occupational therapy falls prevention programmes. This paper reports the findings of an evaluation of a multifaceted falls prevention programme, which aimed to determine whether occupational therapy could enhance quality of life by educating people aged 65 years and over about the risk of falls. A pre-intervention and post-intervention non-standardised self-administered questionnaire was completed at week 1 and at week 14. Of the 172 older people attending the falls prevention programme, 78 (45%) completed both questionnaires. The findings from this study suggest that an occupational therapy falls prevention programme can reduce the impact of falls on older people by enhancing confidence to perform activities, which in turn can increase quality of life. However, further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of anxiety management techniques.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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