The R.A.C.E. to prevent falls

Maidei Machina1

1Westmead Hospital, Westmead, 2145

Introduction: 40-50% of community-dwellers aged 75+ fall each year; with 30% of these falls resulting in injuries that reduce mobility and independence. The Rapid Access of Care and Evaluation (R.A.C.E.) program, which is a 5-day post-acute community-based program that provides allied health and medical input for geriatric patients, was developed to assess and address risks which may predispose geriatric patient to falls.

Aims: The aims of this investigation were to: 1) identify the primary types of falls prevention and falls management interventions provided by R.A.C.E. allied health professionals and medical staff, and 2) identify barriers that impede patient/care uptake and adherence to falls prevention and falls management recommendations.

Methods: Data were extracted from the medical records of 15 geriatric patients aged 70+ with repeat fall presentations on R.A.C.E. Data was manually coded and analysed for themes to: 1) determine the primary types of falls prevention and falls management interventions provided to patients, and 2) identify clinician/patient-reported barriers to client/carer to uptake and adherence to falls prevention and falls management recommendations.

Results: Seven themes emerged from the data. These included: 1) decreased functional status, 2) impaired cognitive function, 3) lack of readiness for change, 4) level of education and health literacy, 5) limited social supports, 6) limited financial resources, and 7) limited provision of culturally appropriate and responsive interventions. Inadequate follow-up of allied health professional and medical staff recommendations by patients and/or their carers was frequently noted on the patients second presentation.

Discussion: The inadequate uptake, follow-up and adherence to falls prevention and falls management interventions highlights the complexities involved in providing a ‘just right’ level of fall management for geriatric patients. The development of client-centred and culturally sensitive falls prevention and management strategies must remain a primary focus of improving patient outcomes on post-acute community-based care services like R.A.C.E.


Biography: To be confirmed

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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