Fall Risk Factors in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: An Umbrella Review Protocol
Presented at the inaugural Research Rendez-Vous conference hosted by McMaster School of Rehabilitation Science on April 29th, 2022.
Keywords:Falls, community-dwelling, older adults, risk factor
BACKGROUND: Falls are among the leading cause of accidental injury in Canada, with one in three older adults experiencing a fall each year. This leads to disability, long-term pain, loss of independence, reduced quality of life, mental health challenges, and increased mortality risk. Alongside these injuries, falls are a growing national public health concern given their direct cost of over $2 billion a year. Further, with an aging Canadian population, the prevalence and incidence of falls are expected to increase at a rapid rate. A large body of literature has identified risk factors that contribute to falls in older adults, however, to date this literature has been disjointed and often groups together fall risks for different populations. To address these limitations, this review will aim to summarize the evidence identifying risk factors for falls in community-dwelling older adults (60 years).
METHODS: We searched seven databases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PsychINFO, Ageline) for articles that: are systematic reviews (including scoping reviews), include a population of community dwelling older adults (60 years), and report modifiable and non-modifiable factors that have shown to increase the risk for falls in prospective studies. Multiple independent reviewers will screen titles, abstracts, and full text articles, and perform data extraction and quality assessment. Risk factors will be synthesized narratively. Wherever possible, findings will be grouped according to the International Classification of Functional Disability (ICF).
ANTICIPATED IMPACT: Given the substantial amount of research conducted in this area, we anticipate that the identified risk factors for falls will cover a wide breadth. Further, our results will identify the risk factors that are of the utmost importance to consider when undertaking fall prevention efforts.
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