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Interprofessional education model for geriatric falls risk assessment and prevention
  1. Diane K Brown1,
  2. Sue Fosnight2,3,
  3. Maureen Whitford4,
  4. Susan Hazelett5,
  5. Colleen Mcquown6,
  6. Jenifer C Drost7,
  7. Denise J Kropp8,
  8. Cynthia A Hovland9,
  9. Joan E Niederriter10,
  10. Rikki Patton11,
  11. Abigail Morgan12,
  12. Eileen Fleming5,
  13. Richard P Steiner13,
  14. Edward Demond Scott14,15,
  15. Fabiana Ortiz-Figueroa14,16
  1. 1 College of Health Professions, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA
  2. 2 College of Pharmacy, Northeastern Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
  3. 3 Department of Pharmacy, Summa Health, Akron, Ohio, USA
  4. 4 School of Health Sciences, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  5. 5 Seniors Institute Research, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA
  6. 6 Emergency Medicine, Academic and Community Emergency Specialists, Uniontown, Ohio, USA
  7. 7 Senior Health, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA
  8. 8 Family and Community Medicine, Northeastern Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
  9. 9 School of Social Work, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  10. 10 School of Nursing, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  11. 11 School of Counseling, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA
  12. 12 Planning and Quality Improvement, Direction Home Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities, Akron, Ohio, USA
  13. 13 Department of Statistics, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA
  14. 14 Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA
  15. 15 Family Medicine, Summa Health System
  16. 16 Emergency Medicine, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, United States
  1. Correspondence to Dr Diane K Brown; dbrown1{at}


Background One in three people over the age of 65 fall every year, with 1/3 sustaining at least moderate injury. Falls risk reduction requires an interprofessional health team approach. The literature is lacking in effective models to teach students how to work collaboratively in interprofessional teams for geriatric falls prevention. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, administration and outcome measures of an education programme to teach principles of interprofessional care for older adults in the context of falls prevention.

Methods Students from three academic institutions representing 12 health disciplines took part in the education programme over 18 months (n=237). A mixed method one-group pretest and post-test experimental design was implemented to measure the impact of a multistep education model on progression in interprofessional collaboration competencies and satisfaction.

Results Paired t-tests of pre-education to posteducation measures of Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale scores (n=136) demonstrated statistically significant increase in subscales and total scores (p<0.001). Qualitative satisfaction results were strongly positive.

Discussion Results of this study indicate that active interprofessional education can result in positive student attitude regarding interprofessional team-based care, and satisfaction with learning. Lessons learnt in a rapid cycle plan-do-study-act approach are shared to guide replication efforts for other educators.

Conclusion Effective models to teach falls prevention interventions and interprofessional practice are not yet established. This education model is easily replicable and can be used to teach interprofessional teamwork competency skills in falls and other geriatric syndromes.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors DKB contributed to the design of the study, education, implementation and writing the original draft of this manuscript. SH was the project manager of the grant and planned the study, contributed to the design, education, implementation and assistance with reporting of the work. The following contributed to the education design, implementation and editorial writing of the results: SF, MW, CM, JCD, JEN and RP. DJK contributed to statistical analysis. RPS contributed to statistical analysis and reporting of results. CAH, AM, EF, EDS and FO-F contributed to education design and implementation.

  • Funding This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UD7HP28539 entitled Nurse Education Practice Quality and Retention Program for $484 476 year two.

  • Disclaimer This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the US Government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Summa Health System.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no unpublished data available from this study.

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