Falls & Fracture Prevention Self-Assessment Tool

  • The aim of the app is for a person to self-assess their risk factors for falling and fracturing.

  • On completion of the self-assessment an email could be sent to their GP (and/or a link sent to the local hospital) to prompt follow up investigations and/or treatment

Scope of the Problem:

  • Falls and fracture are a significant health concern among over 50’s
  • 50% of all women aged 50 and over, and 20% of all men aged 50 and over in Ireland have osteoporosis
  • Irish people are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis due to diet, insufficient exercise in youth (and throughout life) and poor quality bone making sunlight.
  • 33% of all people aged 65 and over, and 50% of all people aged 80 and over, will fall annually in Ireland
  • Injuries related from falls in the biggest killer of older adults. Over 250 people die annually as a result of falling
  • Fracture is a major injury resulting from falls and osteoporosis
  • There are over 3500 hip fractures every year and 18,000 fractures in total
  • Nearly 20% of people who have a hip fracture die within one year
  • Over 50% of people who have a hip fracture will need some form of assistance with walking or toileting in a year
  • Overall, the consequences of falls and fracture are a significant issue for patients and the healthcare system – injury, surgery, ED attendances, hospital admissions, nursing home admissions etc. The goal of this app is to put more focus on prevention – Identifying this risk of falls and fractures is easy, investigation is cheap and easy and treatment is relatively easy and effective.

Outline of App:

  • The app takes a person’s self-assessed risk factors and generates a High, Intermediate or Low Risk for Fracturing. (This is based on Clinical Guidelines and Evidence base for Osteoporosis). Similar process for falls risk. Outline attached.
  • Preamble. A little speel for patients on the importance of identifying falls and fracture risk
  • Age, sex, Height and Weight. The algorithm for the app is based on the patients age, sex, height and weight
  • Fracture Risk Factors. Standard yes/no questions
  • Falls Risk Screen and Falls Risk Factors. Similar yes/no questions
  • Email Link. Patients can directly send an email to the GP – populated by the content which the patient has already completed

Who Could Use the App:

  • Initially I aimed for the app to be targeted to outpatients in a hospital. In my own hospital, we have 30,000 new patients appointments and 105000 return appointments – lots of scope to target people (about half of these are over 50). These are the patients I want to target so we can try to reduce the numbers of patients who come through the door of ED. But it could also be used by patients in GP practices, by Public Health Nurses treating patients in their homes, or in primary care centres.