Falls Prevention Horizon Scanning Bulletin Volume 2 Issue 10

18/10/2012

‘Magic carpet’ developed in Manchester can detect falls

18/10/2012

Source: E-Health Insider

Follow this link for full text

Date of publication: September 2012

Publication type: Website

In a nutshell: Scientists in Manchester have developed a carpet that can detect subtle changes in a person’s walking habits, meaning that deterioration in an older person’s mobility can be monitored. The carpet uses optical fibres and tiny sensors to detect changes in pressure when stepped on, which are relayed to a computer that maps a 2D image of walking patterns. This could be incorporated into care homes and hospital wards to reduce the number of falls by the elderly.

Length of publication: 1 page


Interventions for preventing falls in older people in the community

18/10/2012

Source: The Cochrane Library

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: September 2012

Publication type: Review

In a nutshell: This is an update of a review first published in 2009. This compares 159 trials for falls prevention interventions, including multifactorial interventions, group and home-based exercise, vitamin D supplementation, Tai Chi and other factors.

Length of publication: 404 pages (a 4 page summary is available)

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Gait impairment and falls in cognitively impaired older adults

18/10/2012

Source: Age and Ageing, 2012, 41 (5), p. 665-669

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: September 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: This study explored the associations between spatiotemporal gait and falls in older people who had a cognitive impairment, as well as investigating sensorimotor and neuropsychological factors to see if these mediate gait performance and falls. According to the study, slow and variable gait patterns increase the risk of falls in those studied, and the association between gait and falls appears to be mediated by reduced sensorimotor function.

Length of publication: 4 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Effects of a multifactorial falls prevention program for stroke victims

18/10/2012

Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2012, 93 (9), p. 1648-1655

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: September 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: This trial investigated if a multifactorial falls prevention program would reduce falls in stroke victims, and whether the program would leads to improvements in gait, balance, strength and fall-related efficacy. It found there to be no significant difference in fall rate, and no improvements were found.

Length of publication: 7 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Can depression predict falls in older people?

18/10/2012

Source: Age and Ageing, 2012, 41 (5) p. 606-612

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: September 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: This study investigated whether depression can predict falls in community-dwelling older people in Taiwan, in addition to problems with vision, strength and balance. Depressive symptoms were found to be significantly more prevalent in those who experienced one or more falls compared to those who didn’t fall. The findings suggest that interventions to treat depression should be built into falls prevention strategies.

Length of publication: 6 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Does neck pain influence sensorimotor function in the elderly?

18/10/2012

Source: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2012, 55 (3) p. 667-672

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: November 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: Problems with sensorimotor control have been documented in the young and middle-aged, though whether this affects older people with neck pains is unknown. This study aimed to see if this extrapolation is valid, as problems with sensorimotor functions in older people can inform falls prevention and management programmes.

Length of publication: 5 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


12 week home-based falls-risk reduction exercises forgotten after another 12 weeks

18/10/2012

Source: Archives of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, 2012, 93 (10) p. 1685-1691

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: October 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: Older people who were recently discharged from hospital were given a 12 week programme of exercise at home to reduce their risk of falls. They were then tested another 12 weeks after the exercise programme ended to see how much of the information was retained. Immediately after the training, the people were found to have made improvements to their sensorimotor function and balance, but after the second 12 weeks, detraining was shown to have happened, showing close to baseline scores. This suggests that sustained adherence to fall prevention exercise programmes is required to reduce fall risk.

Length of publication: 6 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Using different technologies to reduce falls in the elderly

18/10/2012

Source: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2012, 55 (3) p. 683-689

Follow this link for abstract

Date of Publication: November-December 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: Very elderly people tend to be increasingly frail, with a high risk of functional impairments which can cause falls at home. This study evaluated how well light path coupled with a tele-assistance service helped to prevent unintentional falls in this situation. It was found that the use of this combination was significant in the reduction of falls at home, though this study should be confirmed by a randomised controlled trial.

Length of publication: 6 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


A study relating various factors and falls in older adults

18/10/2012

Source: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2012, 55 (3) p. 645-652

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: November-December 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: This study investigated the interrelationships between physical function, pain, impaired mobility and falls in older American adults. Balance and mobility testing are suggested as a priority in fall screening and prevention programmes.

Length of publication: 7 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Investigating floor surface roughness to prevent slips and falls

18/10/2012

Source: Applied Ergonomics, 2013, 44 (1) p. 58-64

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: January 2013

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: It is known that slip resistance performance improves with floor surface roughness. However, the question remains as to whether this correlates in a linear way with surface topographies, and what roughness levels are required for effective slip resistance, including in wet or dry conditions. Findings from this study may impact on floor designs for reducing fall hazards.

Length of publication: 6 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Further dissemination

18/10/2012

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