Assessment of community fall prevention toolkit
Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults age 65 years and older. Falls in older adults result in physical disability, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Risk factors for falls include: poor vision, polypharmacy, home safety hazards, and lack of strength and balance. Strategic plans have been proposed to reduce risk factors. The Centers for Disease Control and the National Council of Aging recommend routine vision exams, medication reviews, home safety evaluations, and routine exercise. Based on these guidelines, the Wichita State University Regional Institute on Aging Falling LinKS research group developed a toolkit to be used independently by older adults to reduce their risk of falling. However, providing older adults with a well-designed product does not ensure its use. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a locally developed toolkit, Falling Less in Kansas; to determine if it is easy to use and is satisfying to the user. We also inquired about preferential venues of distribution for the toolkit. Four focus group sessions, recruited from two urban organizations and two rural health clinics, were conducted. In addition, six older adults from a rural community participated in a usability test to determine the ease of use of the toolkit. Although the participants felt the toolkit was attractive, well organized, and easy to use, they thought it may contain too much information. Interestingly, the majority of participants admitted they would not actively use the toolkit on their own, but would need it introduced to them by a health care provider (primary care provider or pharmacist) or in a social setting.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Public Health Sciences