Online Program

Developing the evidence for falls-prevention interventions in people with ID living in community settings

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Courtney Dutra, MPA, E.K. Shriver Center/ Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Alexandra Bonardi, OTR/L, MHA, CDDER/EK Shriver Center, UMass Medical School, Boston, MA
Emily Lauer, MPH, Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research, E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
People with intellectual disability (ID) experience a falls risk that is similar to the population over age 65, but at much younger ages.

Limited evidence-based falls-prevention programs exist. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School examined a clinical falls prevention-intervention targeted towards adults with ID living in community settings. The intervention was developed by a Massachusetts based rehabilitation agency using evidence-based approaches in the geriatric population. The intervention included an assessment of individual fall risk status at baseline, 3 months and 6 months, targeted clinical interventions such as balance and strength training, and daily monitoring of falls by residential staff. The pilot study consisted of 23 males and 36 females with ID living in community group homes.

Researchers will complete the analysis phase in May. Outcomes data is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the clinical intervention and assess the feasibility of using similar methods to study the effectiveness of falls-prevention interventions. Researchers will conduct an item-level analysis of components on the Fall Risk Screening Tool used to assess individual fall risk, describe differences in baseline risk factors by age groups and gender, and assess the efficacy of the intervention by both changes in the rate of falls and injurious falls over time and in falls risk factors from baseline.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss successful intervention components of a fall-prevention program

Keyword(s): Disabilities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 10 years experience working in the I/DD field and coordinated a 6-month Massachusetts-wide pilot project to reduce incidences of falls in people with I/DD. This pilot project resulted in a noticeable decline in fall rates and a heightened awareness among staff to falls prevention activities. I've presented numerous trainings on this topic, including a recent Webinar on falls presentation, and consult with private and public organizations on designing effective falls-prevention programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.