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Implementation and Evaluation of a Fall Risk Screening Strategy Among Frail Older Adults for the Primary Care Setting: A Study Protocol

Authors Meekes WMA, Leemrijse CJ, Korevaar JC, Henquet JMAE, Nieuwenhuis M, van de Goor LAM

Received 21 March 2020

Accepted for publication 19 July 2020

Published 9 September 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1625—1636


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

WMA Meekes,1 CJ Leemrijse,2 JC Korevaar,2 JMAE Henquet,3 M Nieuwenhuis,4 LAM van de Goor1

1Tranzo, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands; 2NIVEL, Utrecht, Netherlands; 3Huisartsenpraktijk de Ypelaer, Hilvarenbeek, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands; 4Fysiotherapie Nieuwenhuis, Best, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

Correspondence: WMA Meekes
Tranzo, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, 5000 LE Tilburg, Postbus 90153, Netherlands
Tel +31 13 466 4451
Email [email protected]

Background: Falls are an increasing problem among older people. There are several evidence-based interventions available to prevent falls. However, these are not always well implemented in the primary care setting. General practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of contact for health issues, making them the designated professionals for providing falls prevention. Because GPs are often unaware which patients have a high fall risk and patients themselves do not always know they have a high fall risk, this study aims to evaluate the implementation of a targeted fall risk screening strategy among independently living, frail older people in the primary care setting.
Materials and Methods: The targeted fall risk screening strategy used in this study consists of tools for screening high fall risk and for identifying the underlying cause(s) of the high fall risk, an accredited training course in falls prevention for professionals, and service provision by certified physio- and exercise therapists who are able to offer evidence-based falls prevention interventions. This targeted fall risk screening strategy will be implemented in the primary care setting and evaluated at the level of the GP practice and at the level of the patient by using the RE-AIM model of Glasgow et al. In a pre-posttest design, data will be collected of the total number of frail older people who are screened, referred and enrolled for fall-preventive care. Furthermore, barriers and facilitators of the implementation of the fall risk screening strategy will be identified by conducting focus groups and interviews with the care providers and frail older patients. Additionally, the influence of the falls prevention interventions on frail older patients will be evaluated by using a pre-posttest design with a 12-month follow-up period during which data are collected regarding patients’ stability, mobility, strength, balance, self-efficacy, health status, and daily activities.
Study Registration: This study is approved by the Medical Ethics Committee Brabant, the Netherlands (NL61582.028.17/ P1732) and registered at the Netherlands Trial Register, NL7917.

Keywords: preventive medicine, primary care, geriatric medicine, risk management

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