Master of Science
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Zecevic, Aleksandra A.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among older adults in Canada. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of older adults who experienced fall-related injuries (FRIs) and the types of falls that caused them. We analyzed Ontario-wide secondary data from three databases (NACRS, DAD, RPDB) covering 2010-2014. Older adults (≥ 65 years) who visited emergency departments (ED) with FRIs were selected using ICD-10-CA codes for a fall and injury. Counts, measures of central tendency, and prevalence rates (crude, age- and sex-specific, age-standardized) were calculated. There were 304,610 (63.0% females) ED admissions (3,089 per 100,000 population) and 143,210 (61.2% females) hospitalizations (1,452 per 100,000 population). Rates for most injuries increased with age and were higher for females. Fractures and superficial injuries were the most common. Slips, trips, and stumbles were the most common fall types. Findings suggest that injury prevention should be targeted at females and the oldest old.
Summary for Lay Audience
Falls in older adults often cause injuries that require visits to the emergency department or hospitalizations. The purpose of this study was to describe the types of injuries older adults experienced and the types of falls that caused these injuries. The dataset included 304,610 observations over a five-year period from three databases routinely collected by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario. We calculated rates, which described how many people in every 100,000 experienced an injury, and examined the differences between men and women, and different five-year age groups between 65-69 and 90+ years of age. Results show that 3,089/100,000 older adults experienced an injury due to a fall that required a visit to the emergency department, and 1,452/100,000 were hospitalized. Females were injured more than males (63.0%). Injuries were more common in older age groups compared to younger groups. For example, in the group of 65-69 year-olds, 71/100,000 people had a hip fracture from a fall, while in the group of people 90+ years of age and older 1,184/100,000 had this same injury. Fractures (39.9%) and superficial injuries (23.3%) were the most common injury types. Slips, trips, and stumbles were the most common fall types. Prevention of injuries caused by falls need to be directed at females and those aged 80 years and older.
Lappan, Nicolette, "Descriptive Analysis of Fall-Related Injuries Among Older Adults in Ontario" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7910.