Development of a Falls Prevention Self-Management Plan to Improve Older Adults Adherence to Prevention Strategies after Community-Based Falls Risk Screenings
Jennifer Vincenzo, Ph.D., M.P.H., PT, is an assistant professor in the Lewis E. Epley Jr. Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Health Professions on the Northwest Campus. The KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award will support her project to develop and pilot a falls prevention self-management plan to facilitate adherence to prevention strategies among older adults.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, costing upwards of $50 billion every year. Despite national efforts towards prevention, fall rates remain high. One in four older adults falls each year nationally and Arkansas ranks 48/50 with fall rates of 35.2%. The CDC provides falls prevention screening, assessment, and recommendation resources; however, there are no resources in place to assist providers and older adults in developing and implementing a falls prevention self-management plan.
Developing strategies to improve adherence to fall prevention recommendations is imperative to addressing this public health crisis. Results from Dr. Vincenzo’s preliminary studies indicate only ~50% of older adults adhere to recommendations following a one-time community-based falls prevention screening. Moreover, she found that those who were not adherent reported higher rates of falls compared to those who were. Thus, implementing a falls prevention self-management plan could prevent up to 45,000 medically treated falls, save $442 million in direct medical costs associated with those falls, and decrease the risk of falls by up to 67%.
Barriers and facilitators to adhering to falls prevention recommendations have been identified; however, implementation strategies to address older adults’ lack of adherence have not been explored. Therefore, the aims of this project are to develop and pilot a falls prevention self-management plan to improve older adults’ adherence to falls prevention recommendations after attending a community-based screening.
Vincenzo joined the Department of Physical Therapy in 2015. She completed her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a graduate certificate in Educational Statistics and Research Design at the University of Arkansas. She also has a Master of Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut. Vincenzo was an inaugural recipient of the UAMS Geriatric Junior Faculty Development Award through the Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative. She holds board certifications in Geriatric Physical Therapy, Health Education, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, and Dementia Management.
Jeanne Wei, Ph.D, M.D., Executive Director, Reynolds Institute on Again, UAMS; Chair, Geriatrics, UAMS College of Medicine.
Leanne Lefler, Ph.D, R.N, A.P.R.N., Associate Professor, UAMS College of Nursing
Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Northwest Arkansas region, UAMS; Assistant Professor, Office of Community Health and Research, UAMS College of Medicine
Geoffrey Curran, Ph.D., Director, Center for Implementation Research; Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, UAMS College of Pharmacy