Weekly Research Highlight in Fall Prevention

This weekly blog post aims to highlight articles published during the week regarding fall prevention. This week we take a look at stakeholder perspectives of fall prevention for vision impairment and Falls, lower back and knee pain and cognitive and emotional factors.

Abstracts for these studies can be found here

Stakeholder perspectives of fall prevention for older Australians with vision impairment: “it’s just a matter of adapting them accordingly”
Dillon LL, Clemson L, Keay LJ. Disabil. Rehabil. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.
DOI 10.1080/09638288.2020.1792563 PMID 32667215
Vision impairment is common in older age and a strong risk factor for falls. While exercise has been shown to be beneficial for reducing falls it can be difficult for those with visual impairment to participate in community exercise programs. The aim of this study was to investigate the appropriateness and scalability of fall prevention programs for older Australians with vision impairment through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders. The stakeholders interviewed were specialists delivering the v-LIFE program (Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise program adapted for older adults with vision impairment), client facing professionals such as physios and occupational therapists as well as managers and policy makers. Five key themes were identified: (1) insufficient guidelines or referral pathways; (2) ongoing funding to secure service delivery and best practice implementation; (3) marketing approach: honouring consumer’s perceptions of themselves; (4) practical suggestions for program delivery; and (5) incorporation into existing services.
(Dillon et al. 2020)
Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Lower Back or Knee Pain Are Associated with Cognitive and Emotional Factors

Hirase T, Makizako H, Okubo Y, Lord SR, Okita M, Nakai Y, Takenaka T, Kubozono T, Ohishi M. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020; 17(14): e4960.
DOI 10.3390/ijerph17144960 PMID 32660067

Pain has previously been associated with poor cognition, impaired executive function and depressed moods. With executive function and depression having been identified as risk factors for falls it has been suggested that cognitive and emotional factors may also play a role in increasing fall risk in older people with pain. Hirase et al. aimed to determine whether risk factors for falls dier between community-dwelling older adults with and without pain. They found that falls in participants with pain were associated with cognitive and emotional factors, whereas falls in those without pain were associated with physical factors.