Supporting Knowledge for Injury Prevention in Seniors (SKIPS)

Dissemination and evaluation of a video-based education tool

Background

Falls are the number-one cause of injury in older adults, and are especially common in the long-term care (LTC) environment. This knowledge translation project involves the development and dissemination of a video-based education tool addressing the cause and prevention of falls in seniors. While applicable to a wide range of stakeholders, this interactive tool has been designed specifically for educating nurses, care aides, and physical therapists who work with older adults in LTC. The unique and powerful aspect of the tool is the inclusion of video footage of real-life falls (collected under our primary CIHR operating grant) in a set of "case studies" which focus on current knowledge and best practices related to issues such as fall risk screening, mobility and balance assessment, exercise, fall-related injuries (especially hip fracture and head trauma), environmental hazards, and hip protectors. This unique approach of using video-captured falls to improve the education of front-line care providers on the cause and prevention of falls has a strong likelihood of reducing the frequency and severity of falls in the LTC environment.

These videos also facilitate sharing of the outcomes of our research in a manner that may guide decisions, policies and practice in LTC. Implementation has been characterized by the inability to transfer the success of experimental trials to real-life settings. It is therefore notable that an impetus for this project was stakeholders’ requests for evidence, based on our video footage, to guide teaching and learning in the area of fall and fall related injury prevention. In addition, there is sound evidence that programs and practices are more apt to be sustained if policies and resources are in place to support them. Evidence translated through the meaningful relationships we have established lays the groundwork for the development and implementation of programs, policies and practice in B.C. and across Canada. Finally, with early evidence to guide us, we will continue our work with key organizations (Fraser Health Authority and B.C. Ministry of Health) to seek sustained resource allocation to support the dissemination and implementation of the video.

“Everybody Falls Sometime”: An In­troduction to the Prevention of Falls and Injuries in Long-Term Care is a 7-minute film that provides insight into falls in long term care settings. This film features interviews with older adults who have experienced falls, and the long-term care staff who work to prevent them.

Evidence from Real-Life Falls: How to Manage Risk and Prevent Injuries in Long-Term Care is a 12-minute film that showcases four fall case studies. These are presented by fall injury experts and are accompanied by video-captured footage of falls. This film highlights evidence-based practice recommendations.

Finally, with early evidence to guide us, we will continue our work with key organizations (Fraser Health and B.C. Ministry of Health) to seek sustained resource allocation to support the dissemination and implementation of the video.

The BC Ministry of Health for instance has created Falls and Related Injuries in Residential Care: A Framework & Toolkit for Prevention, a report to help put fall prevention evidence into practice in residential care settings through the presentation of a fall prevention public health framework. This evidence-based public health framework provides practical and effective solutions for routine care. It is a staged approach, consisting of five program planning steps that work to benefit seniors who are at risk, their families, and care providers. The SKIPS videos are promoted in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Health as an additional resource within the existing toolkit.