A successful falls prevention program requires heightened healthcare provider engagement.

That’s according to a study that analyzed clinician-patient interactions among 2,400 older participants in the Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders (STRIDE) falls prevention trial. 

Fewer than half of participants partnered with their fall care managers or interdisciplinary team to take action on their identified falls risk factors. Investigators found a drop-off in engagement based on the participant’s level of interaction. But program participants who received two clinician visits compared to one were more likely to take recommended actions to reduce their risk.

The findings “underscore the need to improve strategies that promote fall-reducing actions — beyond receiving assessment results,” investigators wrote in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

“This drop-off in engagement suggests that future interventions need to be more focused on improving patient-clinician partnerships and helping patients increase and maintain fall prevention actions that target their prioritized fall risks,” they wrote. 

More frequent contact with clinicians and increased monitoring of the implementation and outcomes of falls prevention care plans could better support older adults in sustaining their efforts to avoid falls, they concluded.

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