Maximising falls related injury prevention opportunities for our older clients

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Fall related injury rates in older Australians continue to rise despite
concerted efforts to manage fall risks. Understanding fall risk from
the perspective of the older person may provide valuable knowledge
that can assist podiatrists with falls prevention. The study aim was to
understand regional older people’s experiences of falling.
A qualitative approach using hermeneutics was used to explore
the perceptions of older people towards the risk of falling. Hermeneutics
arises from an interpretive theoretical viewpoint, where
the main goal is to understand human experience and actions.
The study involved 33 participants residing in southern NSW who
took part in semi-structured focus groups and semi-structured indepth
interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim
and individually and collectively analysed to identify key
The findings suggest that limited dialogue between older people
and health professionals was occurring with the participants on their
falls history and individual falls related risks. This was especially evident
in less frail older populations. As such, it was not until a significant
fall event occurred that falls prevention strategies were
instigated. In addition, participants indicated that they were reluctant
to initiate discussion with health professionals on falling, particularly
when it was not the main purpose of the visit. These themes indicate
that health professionals may be missing opportunities to instigate
early falls prevention strategies with their older clients.
Podiatrists are in a unique position to be contributing to falls prevention
given the nature and demographic of practice. Importantly, podiatrists
need to start the conversation with older clients about their
mobility concerns so that early falls education and intervention strategies
can be instigated to minimise their risk of falling.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 03 Aug 2017
Event2017 Australasian Podiatry Conference - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre , Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 24 May 201726 May 2017 (Conference website)


Conference2017 Australasian Podiatry Conference
Abbreviated titleRealise
Internet address


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