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Preventing falls among older people : current practice and attitudes among community pharmacists

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posted on 01.01.2003, 00:00 authored by E van Beurden, Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, M Molyneux, E Eakin
Objective: Falls among older people are a major cause of injury and death in Australia Urgent action is required if we are to stem the .epidemic' increase in falls as our population ages. This paper describes current practice and attitudes of community pharmacists in Northern Rivers, New South Wales, in relation to preventing falls. .. Method: Comm~typhannacists in the Northern Rivers area ofNew South Wales were surveyed to detennine their current activities to reduce the risk of falls in older clients and to gauge awareness of the successful 1992-96 falls prevention program- 'Stay on Your Feet'. Results: Response rate was 79% (53/67). Seventy-two per cent reported that they urge 'most' or 'almost all' older clients to bring in out-of-date medications for disposal, 66% give them falls prevention advice at least 'sometimes', 57% refer at least 'some' older clients to allied health practitioners for assessment or treatment of falls risk. and 92% are interested in receiving more written information regarding falls prevention. Conclusion: The fmdings suggest that while community pharmacists are both ready and keen to play a role in future falls prevention initiatives. their current involvement varies considerably. Specific ways in which they might further help to reduce falls are: regularly checking the potential of client. medications to connibute to falls. giving more verbal or written advice, promoting 'falls safe' products, referring older clients to allied health practitioners for assessment or treatment of falls risk, and training staff [Q provide falls prevention advice

History

Journal

Journal of pharmacy practice and research

Volume

33

Issue

1

Pagination

51 - 54

Publisher

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Location

South Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

1445-937X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

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