'Prevalence of and factors associated with head impact during falls in older adults in long-term care'
On October 7, CHHM researchers published an article entitled "Prevalence of and factors associated with head impact during falls in older adults in long-term care" in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). The two joint primary authors were CHHM trainees Rebecca Schonnop (now a student in medical school at UBC) and Yijian Yang (who is currently a Ph.D. student at SFU). Senior authors were Stephen Robinovitch (CHHM Primary Investigator) and Fabio Feldman (CHHM Investigator).
The study analyzes fall characteristics from video footage of 227 falls in 133 residents of two long-term care facilities, collected over three years. The team found that head impact occurred in 37% of falls, and was particularly high in forward falls. Rotating backward protected against head impact, but extending the hand in an effort to stop the fall did not. The article emphasizes the potential of strengthening of upper limbs and teaching rotational falling techniques to reduce fall-related injuries in this population.
CMAJ showcases innovative research and ideas aimed at improving health for people in Canada and globally. It publishes original clinical research, analyses and reviews, news, practice updates and thought-provoking editorials. The full text can be viewed at www.cmaj.ca .