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Can J Occup Ther. 2003 Jun;70(3):174-82.

An occupational therapy perspective on falls prevention among community-dwelling older adults.

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Health for Older Adults Program, St. Joseph's Centre for Ambulatory Health Services, 2757 King Street East, Hamilton, ON L8G 5E4.



Prevention of falls among community-dwelling older adults is an important area of research because of the serious consequences that can result from falls for this population. The risk factors associated with falls tend to be categorized into two groups: intrinsic, or personal factors, such as fear of falling, age, gender, and extrinsic, or environmental factors, such as lighting or slippery surfaces.


The current falls prevention literature was reviewed using an occupational therapy perspective.


It revealed that there are only a few brief examples of the relationship between occupation and falls in the literature. The profession of occupational therapy appears to be underrepresented in the current falls prevention literature. The review highlights the important contributions that occupational therapists could make to this functional problem. PRACTICE AND RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS: For occupational therapy, important areas for consideration when attempting to prevent falls among older adults living in the community include using a client-centred approach, compliance, and follow up on recommendations. There is a need for more occupational therapy research specifically on occupation and falls, that explores their relationship and influence upon one another.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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