Falls focus at Preventive Health Conference

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TYPE Prevention Centre News

Professors Cathie Sherrington and Anne Tiedemann from the Centre of Research Excellence in the Prevention of Fall-related Injuries (CRE-PFI) presented on the CRE’s collaboration to address the evidence-practice gap for falls prevention in older adults.

Presentations at the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) conference included evaluations of an Aboriginal community-based program for fall prevention, combining exercise and fall prevention intervention to improve physical activity, barriers to community physical activity after discharge from hospital, and the promotion of physical activity for health professionals.   

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths across all age groups and disproportionately impact older adults. They cost the Australian health system over $2.4 billion each year with 140,000 older Australians hospitalised and 5,000 deaths from falls each year.

Professor Cathie Sherrington, Director CRE-PFI

Despite these staggering statistics, Australia has no national body charged with the development of policy and co-ordination of fall prevention initiatives. A recent policy scan, published in the special prevetnion issue of Public Health Research & Practice, found there is no current national policy on preventing falls in older adults in Australia.

With a rapidly ageing population and growing community concern, there is mounting pressure for a comprehensive national policy in Australia to tackle the urgency of this public health issue. This is especially the case because so many falls can be prevented.

Professor Anne Tiedemann

Over the past two years CRE-PFI has brought together researchers, policy makers and consumers in an effort to increase awareness of the problem and possible solutions among the general community, health professionals and policy makers. Working with the Australia and New Zealand Falls Prevention Society, they have created reports and infographics to spotlight the issue. Read more here

CRE-PFI is currently working with the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care on new Australian Guidelines for Falls Prevention to be launched later this year.

CRE-PFI is a member of the Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI).

About CERI

The Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI) is a joint initiative between the Prevention Centre and several NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence, established in June 2020 to enhance the profile and impact of chronic disease prevention in Australia. We are working together to find alignment in the policy and practice implications of our work and to develop shared communications across our various projects and participating centres.

CERI develop shared communication across research projects and participating centres.