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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 395357, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/395357
Research Article

Fall Prevention Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Community Stakeholders and Older Adults

1Health Promotion Research Center, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
2Senior Fall Prevention Program, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA 98504, USA
3Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program, University of Washington, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
4Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine and Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA

Received 8 April 2011; Revised 23 June 2011; Accepted 28 June 2011

Academic Editor: Heather Keller

Copyright © 2011 Sharon S. Laing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We assessed knowledge, attitude, and provision of recommended fall prevention (FP) practices by employees of senior-serving organization and participation in FP practices by at-risk elders. The Washington State Department of Health administered structured telephone surveys to 50 employees and 101 elders in Washington State. Only 38% of employees felt “very knowledgeable” about FP, and a majority of their organizations did not regularly offer FP services. Almost half (48%) of seniors sustained a fall within the past 12 months; however, one-third perceived falling to be among their least important health concerns, and most had minimal working knowledge of proven FP practices. Seniors who perceived avoiding falls as important to their well-being were more likely to participate in practices about which they had the least knowledge (risk assessment, medication management). Increased awareness and availability of FP services might help engage older adults in FP practices and reduce the adverse effects of falls.