Assoc. Prof Lisa Somerville1, Val Maric2, Lisa Oakley2, Prof Karen Smith3,Shelley Cox3
1Alfred Hospital, 2Alfred Health, 3Ambulance Victoria
One third of those aged over 65 years and living in the community will fall each year, potentially leading to a cascade of negative consequences. Falls account for 16% of all Ambulance Victoria (AV) dispatches within the Alfred Hospital catchment area and are the leading cause of Emergency Department (ED) admissions for those over 65 years.
The overall goal of this collaborative project between Alfred Health and AV was to evaluate the feasibility and impact of a model of care for the over 65 years, community dwelling adults, who sustained a fall and can be attended to in their own home.
The STRIDE service was available to clients living Alfred Health catchment between August 2017 and February 2018. A standardised assessment and brief intervention from a transdisciplinary OT/PT incorporated a post-fall screen and validated falls risk assessment tools. The assessment outcomes guided targeted falls prevention intervention(s). Follow-up phone contact and/or visit/s occurred as necessary and correspondence was always sent to the client’s GP. All clients were provided with educational information to help reduce their risk of future falls.
Adherence with STRIDE education interventions was in excess of 70%.
At the 1 month review, there was a significant decrease in the patients fear of falling and improvements noted in patients quality of life.
Significance of findings to allied health:
Outcomes show a positive trend that the service model may lead to a reduction in ED hospital re-presentations as well as overall Length of stay due to subsequent falls. Cost calculations show that STRIDE model is attractive given the cost of a STRIDE service is much cheaper than an ‘ED only’ or ‘ED and short stay’ presentation.