As one ages, the risk of experiencing a fall increases and poses a number of serious consequences; 30 per cent of individuals over 65 years of age fall each year…
As one ages, the risk of experiencing a fall increases and poses a number of serious consequences; 30 per cent of individuals over 65 years of age fall each year. Evidence-based falls prevention programmes demonstrate efficacy in reducing the rate and risk of falls among older adults, but their use in Irish occupational therapy practice is unknown. This study aims to investigate the implementation of falls prevention programmes by occupational therapists working with older adults in Ireland.
A cross-sectional survey was used to gather data on the use of falls prevention programmes among occupational therapists working with older adults in any clinical setting across Ireland. Purposeful, convenience and snowball sampling methods were used. The Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland acted as a gatekeeper. Descriptive statistics and summative content analysis were used to analyse quantitative and qualitative data, respectively.
In all, 85 survey responses were analysed. Over 85 per cent of respondents reported “Never” using any of the evidence-based falls prevention programmes. The “OTAGO” Exercise Programme was the most “Frequently” used programme (9.5 per cent, n = 7); 29 respondents reported using “in-department” developed falls prevention programmes and 14 provided additional comments regarding current falls prevention practices in Ireland.
In the absence of Irish data on the subject, this study provides a benchmark to describe the use of evidence-based falls programmes by Irish occupational therapists with older adults.