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Falls prevention in rural general practice: what stands the test of time and where to from here?

journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2003, 00:00 authored by Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, E van Beurden, E Eakin, U Dietrich, J Beard, B Newman
Objective: General practitioner recall of the 1992–96 'Stay on Your Feet' (SOYF) program and its influence on practice were surveyed five years post-intervention to gauge sustainability of the SOYF General Practice (GP) component.

Methods: A survey assessed which SOYF components were still in existence, current practice related to falls prevention, and interest in professional development. All general practitioners (GPs) situated within the boundaries of a rural Area Health Service were mailed a survey in late 2001.

Results: Response rate was 66.5% (139/209). Of 117 GPs in practice at the time of SOYF, 80.2% reported having heard of SOYF and 74.4% of those felt it had influenced practice. Half (50.9%) still had a copy of the SOYF GP resource and of those, 58.6% used it at least 'occasionally'. Three-quarters of GPs surveyed (75.2%) checked medications 'most/almost all' of the time with patients over 60 years; 46.7% assessed falls risk factors; 41.3% gave advice; and 22.6% referred to allied health practitioners. GPs indicated a strong interest in falls prevention-related professional development. There was no significant association between use of the SOYF resource package and any of the current falls prevention practices (all χ2 >0.05).

Conclusions and implications
: There was high recall of SOYF and a general belief that it influenced practice. There was little indication that use of the resource had any lasting influence on GPs' practices. In future, careful thought needs to go into designing a program that has potential to affect long-term change in GPs' falls prevention practice.



Australian and New Zealand journal of public health






481 - 485


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia


Richmond, Vic.







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia