A fairly simple educational program may help family practice residents recognize and assess potential for falls among elderly patients, according to a recent article in Medscape.
Scripps Mercy Chula Vista Family Medicine Residency Associate Program Director Michael Rosenblatt, DO, MPH, worked with a team to develop a short computer-based learning module that they administered to second- and third-year residents. Residents also watched a DVD from the Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders (ACOVE) project before they conducted patient assessments and created care plans.
The results? Fall assessment scores from second-year residents increased from 42% to 78%, and from 55% to 85% for the third-year residents. Designers of the program hope that better education on falls assessment will result in fewer incidents. One-third of elderly Americans experience a fall each year, with 20%-30 % resulting in serious injury.
Physical therapists can help educate their patients on falls, and help them understand how to stay safe by using information provided on APTA's "Move Forward" site.
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