Sharing knowledge of falls prevention for people with dementia: Insights for community care practice
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© La Trobe University 2017. People living with dementia (PLWD) fall more frequently, with more adverse consequences, than general community-dwelling older people; however, falls prevention evidence for PLWD is limited. Increased success of falls prevention strategies for PLWD may rely on tailored interventions to address dementia-specific risk factors. The Australian person-centred care environment highlights the need to better understand sharing of falls prevention knowledge between clients, carers and health professionals. This study aims to examine knowledge of falls prevention for PLWD among community care health professionals (CCHPs) and explore effectiveness of an action-research approach to enhance falls prevention practice. Consecutive action-research sessions were conducted with four groups of Australian multidisciplinary CCHPs (n=18), including a knowledge survey of CCHPs, followed by implementation of action plans. Thematic analysis of the transcribed discussion was undertaken. Results showed limited knowledge and understanding of evidence-based falls prevention strategies, but small incremental changes made by CCHPs through action research offered insights into enhancing knowledge and awareness. Appropriate professional development for community care health professionals is needed to support falls prevention for PLWD, along with associated organisational changes, to ensure knowledge is adequate.
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