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ERIC Number: EJ855155
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0016-9013
Utilization of the Seniors Falls Investigation Methodology to Identify System-Wide Causes of Falls in Community-Dwelling Seniors
Zecevic, Aleksandra A.; Salmoni, Alan W.; Lewko, John H.; Vandervoort, Anthoney A.; Speechley, Mark
Gerontologist, v49 n5 p685-696 Oct 2009
Purpose: As a highly heterogeneous group, seniors live in complex environments influenced by multiple physical and social structures that affect their safety. Until now, the major approach to falls research has been person centered. However, in industrial settings, the individuals involved in an accident are seen as the inheritors of system defects. The objective of the present study was to investigate safety deficiencies that contributed to falls in community-dwelling seniors using a systems approach. Design and Methods: The investigations were conducted using the Seniors Falls Investigation Methodology (SFIM), an adapted version of a method used to examine transportation accidents, such as airplane crashes. Fifteen seniors, who experienced a fall or near fall, participated in multiple case studies. A cross-case synthesis was used to summarize findings and identify common patterns of causes and safety deficiencies. Results: Falls and near falls are a result of latent unsafe conditions, and unsafe acts and decisions combined in a diverse set of circumstances. If not identified and removed, these unsafe conditions can cause falls for other seniors. Implications: This study provided compelling evidence that causes of falling are systemic and develop over time. It demonstrated that the systems approach is needed to expand the focus from the individual to multilayered organizational and supervisory causes. The SFIM demonstrated capability to identify causes of falls that will allow better prevention and management programs, hence advancing seniors' safety. SFIM shows great potential for implementation in organized settings, such as hospitals and long-term care homes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A