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Fall Prevention in Long-Term Care: An In-House Interdisciplinary Team Approach

Eakman, Aaron M. MS, OTR/L; Havens, Michael D. PhD; Ager, Shellee J. PT; Buchanan, Rebecca L. MSW; Fee, Nancy J. ACD; Gollick, Sylvia G. RN; Michels, Mary Jo MS; Olson, Lorin L. PT; Satterfield, Kathy M. MCSD, CCC/SLP; Stevenson, Kathy A. RPh

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: March 2002 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 29-39
Promoting Functional Status through Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Older adults in long-term care are at great risk of injury from falling. An interdisciplinary fall prevention team recommended four classes of interventions for 25 long-term care residents with significant fall histories. Data were collected covering 90-day, pre- and post-intervention time frames. Resident falls evidenced a 39.8% decline (p = .0001). Resident injuries declined 49% consisting of mild (p = .05) and severe injuries (p = .04). The findings of this study suggest that an interdisciplinary fall team is an effective tool for reducing resident falls and fall-related injuries in a long-term care setting.

Eakman: Occupational Therapist, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Havens: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Montana State University-Billings; Ager: Physical Therapist, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Buchanan: Social Worker, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Fee: Director of Special Services, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Gollick: Director of Resident Care Services, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Michels: Social Worker, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Olson: Eden Associate/Physical Therapist, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Satterfield: Speech-Language Pathologist, St. John's Lutheran Ministries; Stevenson: Pharmacist, St. John's Lutheran Ministries, Billings, Montana.

We thank Jan Lamb, RN, and Ellen Kern for their invaluable assistance with data collection, and Joyce Mayer for generating the figures. We also extend our gratitude to the certified nurse assistants and nurses at St. John's Lutheran Ministries that contributed greatly to the care of these older adults.

Copyright © 2002 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.