The role of health professionals in promoting the uptake of fall prevention interventions : A qualitative study of older people's views
Objective: to explore older people's perceptions of the facilitators and barriers to participation in fall prevention interventions in the UK. Methods: we undertook a qualitative study with older people who had taken part in or declined to participate in fall prevention interventions using semi-structured interviews (n = 65), and 17 focus groups (n = 122) with older people (including 32 Asian and 30 Chinese older people). This took place in community settings in four geographical areas of the South of England. The mean age of participants was 75 years (range 60-95). Data analysis used a constant comparative method. Results: older people reported that health professionals and their response to reported falls played a major role in referral to and uptake of interventions, both facilitating and hindering uptake. Health professionals frequently failed to refer people to fall prevention interventions following reports of falls and fall-related injuries. Conclusions: consideration should be given to inclusion of opportunistic and routine questioning of older people about recent falls by practitioners in primary care settings. Referrals should be made to appropriate services and interventions for those who have experienced a fall to prevent further injuries or fracture.