Falls Prevention Clinic

Falls Prevention Clinic

We lead the world in Falls Prevention

The Falls Prevention Clinic began in 2004 as a collaboration between the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, the University of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. Since its inception, our clinical services have expanded greatly. We are currently running the Falls Prevention Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital.

This program is led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose a world leader in falls prevention research at CHHM, Director of the Falls Prevention Clinic and a Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience.

We have shown that the evidence-based model of our Vancouver Falls Prevention Clinic reduces falls by an astounding 50% by targeting those at greatest risk of falling (JAGS, Liu-Ambrose et al., 2008). We deliver the best practice evidence-based medicine grounded on each patient’s personal fall risk profile.

What sets us apart?

The unique aspect of the Vancouver Falls Prevention Clinic is that each patient has a comprehensive geriatrician assessment that involves a summative diagnosis and management plan based on the patient’s individual fall risk profile and clinical assessment. We identify the root causes of why our patients fall, and actively minimized each person’s risk in collaboration with family physicians, specialists, allied health professionals, and evidence-informed best-practice medicine. Our interventions allow our patients to regain their independence and confidence while performing basic activities of daily life.

Our Vancouver Falls Prevention Team is the only dedicated team in BC using a collaborative multidisciplinary approach between primary care, allied health professionals, researchers, and policy makers to delivery the best available evidence-based medicine to high risk individuals.

We have established local, national and international collaborations with leading falls prevention experts. Our Vancouver Falls Prevention Team has worked directly with world leaders in falls assessment and care, As such, we have immediate access to the most effective evidence-based medicine in the world. We transfer this knowledge directly to our Falls Clinic team and our patients.


There is an urgent need

  • Seniors who have had one fall are at twice the risk for future falls.
  • 30% of individuals aged 65 years and over experience at least one fall each year.
  • 95% of hip fractures are due to falls.
  • A comprehensive falls risk assessment is not practical during a regular doctor’s appointment.

Each year, millions of older adults fall and 95% of all hip fractures are due to falls. Falls are serious and costly; and are now recognized as an early sign of subsequent functional decline. Falls result in significant risk for hospitalization, institutionalization, and even death.

Falls can be prevented. Evidence strongly suggests that the best investment and the greatest need is to target those at greatest risk of falling and potentially injuring themselves should they fall. This is the approach utilized by our Vancouver Falls Prevention Clinic.

Geriatricians and their assistants at the Vancouver Falls Prevention Clinic work in concert with family physicians to identify and address the underlying causes for seniors’ falls.

Evidence

Our vision over the next 3 years

Expand our reach
With support and funding, we envision the Vancouver Falls Prevention Clinic becoming a valuable provincial resource across BC. Clinics would be dedicated to the assessment and care of older adults who are experiencing injurious and/or recurrent falls.

Train doctors and allied health professionals
As a provincial resource for falls prevention, in addition to providing patient care, the Falls Clinic will be dedicated to outreach engagement with physicians, allied health care professionals, and the public. For example, our Clinic geriatricians will provide workshops for physicians in regards to falls risk assessment and targeted treatment recommendations. Our Clinic physical therapists will provide instructional workshops about how to deliver the best exercise program for falls reduction. We would also organize annual public forums, for patients and their caregivers to learn about the latest evidence in falls prevention.

Serve underserved parts of BC
In the near term, we also aim to directly impact falls prevention care in remote and rural regions of the province and provide service to those who would otherwise not be reached. We aim to increase the awareness of falls assessment and care in the region via primary care as well as allied health (i.e., physical therapists). With appropriate funding and support, the feasibility of this goal is high given we have already established necessary linkages.

Lead PIs: Karim Khan and Teresa Liu-Ambrose