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Primary care providers' discussion of fall prevention approaches with their older adult patients—DocStyles, 2014
  • Published Date:

    Jan 31 2018

  • Source:
    Prev Med Rep. 2018; 9:149-152.
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    Prev Med Rep
  • Description:
    Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults. The American and British Geriatric Societies recommend a fall risk assessment to identify risk factors and guide interventions to prevent these falls. This study describes the self-reported discussion of fall prevention approaches used by primary care providers (PCPs)-family practitioners, internists and nurse practitioners-who treat older adults. Results are described overall and by PCP type. We analyzed a sample of 1210 U.S. PCPs who participated in the 2014 DocStyles survey. PCPs reported on their recommendation of fall prevention approaches including general exercise, Tai Chi, medication adjustments, home safety modifications, vitamin D supplements, assistive devices, alarm systems, and referral to physical therapy, foot specialist, or vision specialist. Frequencies and adjusted odds ratios for fall prevention approaches were assessed by provider and practice characteristics. Self-reported discussion of any fall prevention approaches was 89.3%. Controlling for provider and practice characteristics, there were significant differences for some approaches by provider type. Family practitioners were more likely to suggest home modification [adjusted Odds Ratio: 1.8 (1.3-2.4)], exercise [aOR: 2.0 (1.5-2.5)], and Tai Chi [aOR: 1.5 (1.0-2.2)] than internists. Nurse practitioners were more likely to suggest home modification [aOR: 2.1 (1.3-3.4)] and less likely to suggest vitamin D [aOR: 0.6 (0.4-1.0)] than internists. Fall prevention suggestions vary by type of PCP. Dissemination of geriatric guidelines should include all PCPs who routinely see older adults.
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