+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

How Do General Practitioners (GPs) Engage in Falls Prevention With Older People? A Pilot Survey of GPs in NHS England Suggests a Gap in Routine Practice to Address Falls Prevention

How Do General Practitioners (GPs) Engage in Falls Prevention With Older People? A Pilot Survey of GPs in NHS England Suggests a Gap in Routine Practice to Address Falls Prevention

Frontiers in Public Health 7: 32

Falls are highly prevalent amongst older people and have substantial financial and social costs for health services and the community. Prevention of falls is the key to managing this threat to older people. General practitioners can identify older people at risk of falls on their caseloads. Once identified, actions can be taken to reduce the risk of falls by referring to appropriate services available in the community, such as allied health practitioners. However, the level of engagement in evidence based falls prevention by GPs is unknown. This study aimed to explore how British general practitioners (GPs) address falls prevention with older people, and to determine if there are any gaps in practice. As a pilot study, another aim was to test the feasibility of methods to survey GPs, if a larger survey was warranted from the findings. An on-line cross-sectional survey was distributed by email to all the Clinical Commissioning Groups in NHS England (n = 213) and individual general practices listed on the NHS Choices website, supplemented by invitations distributed to CCGs through Twitter and LinkedIn sites. Thirty-seven responses were received. Most GPs were unfamiliar with the 2013 NICE guidelines on assessment and prevention of falls in older people (51.4%, n = 19), and only 29.7% (n = 11) asked older people if they had fallen during consultations. If falls risk was identified, 81.1% (n = 30) frequently made referrals to physiotherapy (PT) and 56.8% (n = 21) to occupational therapy (OT). Most GPs did not identify older people on their caseloads as being at risk of falls unless they presented with a fall, and referral rates to relevant AHPs or falls prevention programs were low. Barriers to implementation of falls prevention best practice were identified. Alternative methods are needed to capture the falls prevention practice of a wider sample of GPs.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 066628670

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30915322

DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00032

Related references

Falls prevention education delivered via digital video disc results in greater confidence and motivation to engage in falls prevention strategies by hospitalised older people when compared with education delivered in written format. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 57(5): 351-352, 2010

Urban Australian general practitioners' perceptions of falls risk screening, falls risk assessment, and referral practices for falls prevention: an exploratory cross-sectional survey study. Australian Health Review 41(1): 111-119, 2017

How do general practitioners engage with allied health practitioners to prevent falls in older people? An exploratory qualitative study. Australasian Journal on Ageing 34(3): 149-154, 2015

Prevalence, circumstances and consequences of falls among community-dwelling older people: results of the 2009 NSW Falls Prevention Baseline Survey. New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 22(3-4): 43-48, 2011

The strategic development of the NSW Health Plan for Prevention of Falls and Harm from Falls Among Older People: 2011-2015; translating research into policy and practice. New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 22(3-4): 73-77, 2011

The impact of falls on quality of life: Empowering older women to address falls prevention. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults 4(3): 5-13, 2003

Older people's experiences of therapeutic exercise as part of a falls prevention service: survey findings from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Age and Ageing 43(3): 369-374, 2014

Health Practitioners' Perceptions of Falls and Fall Prevention in Older People: A Metasynthesis. Qualitative Health Research 29(1): 69-79, 2019

The Winchester falls project: a randomised controlled trial of secondary prevention of falls in older people. Age and Ageing 38(1): 33-40, 2009

Effectiveness of an evidence-based multidisciplinary falls prevention program in reducing falls in high-risk older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 62(4): 778-779, 2014

Exploring purpose-designed audio-visual falls prevention messages on older people's capability and motivation to prevent falls. Health and Social Care in the Community 27(4): E471-E482, 2019

Cost-effectiveness of a day hospital falls prevention programme for screened community-dwelling older people at high risk of falls. Age and Ageing 39(6): 710-716, 2010

Risk assessment and falls prevention in the older adult: Asian experience with the Falls Risk for Older People in the Community tool. Geriatrics and Gerontology International 17(3): 518-519, 2017

Clinical practice guideline for the assessment and prevention of falls in older people. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing 2(1): 33-36, 2005

A multicentre randomised controlled trial of day hospital-based falls prevention programme for a screened population of community-dwelling older people at high risk of falls. Age and Ageing 39(6): 704-710, 2010