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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848


DE CLERCQ, Hendrika; NAUDE, Alida  and  BORNMAN, Juan. The perspectives of healthcare practitioners on fall risk factors in older adults. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2020, vol.25, pp.1-9. ISSN 2071-9736.

BACKGROUND: Accidental falls could have severe and far-reaching consequences for older adults, their families and society at large. Healthcare practitioners' (HCPs) perspectives on fall risk factors in older adults could assist in reducing and even preventing falls. Currently, no universal tool exists for this purpose. The World Health Organization's globally accepted International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was usedAIM: This study aimed to (1) describe the perspectives of HCPs on fall risk factors in older adults in South Africa and (2) link these factors to the ICFSETTING: Eighteen HCPs participated in two focus groupsMETHODS: Using a qualitative research design, an inductive thematic analysis allowed for the identification of important themes, which were linked to the ICFRESULTS: The factors mentioned by participants were categorised into 38 themes, which were linked to 142 ICF codes, of which 43% (n = 61) were linked to the Body Function category, 23% (n = 32) to the Environmental Factors category, 18% (n = 26) to the Body Structure category and 16% (n = 23) to the Activities and Participation category. HCPs revealed two relevant factors that were not captured in existing fall risk assessment tools (FRATs), namely 'muscle-power functions' and 'mobility-of-joint functions', which directly relate to the ability to execute mobility activities. Combining HCPs' perspectives with other stakeholders and with literature provides a holistic picture of fall risk factors in older adults

Keywords : disability and health; falls; fall risk; focus groups; ICF; International Classification of Functioning; healthcare practitioners.

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