Baylor College of Medicine

A Qualitative Study with Administrators About Physical Therapist Assessment of Older Adults in the Emergency Department with Falls (H-51792)



Background: Current guidelines by major national organizations in geriatric emergency medicine recommend that all older patients receive fall risk assessment and physical therapy (PT) consultation if indicated, but these guidelines have had limited adoption within Emergency Medicine. Limited adoption is likely due to barriers including staffing, time constraints, costs, lack of data on who to target for intervention, and practice inertia. Most emergency departments (EDs) have no PT or fall risk interventions for older adults in the ED, and even among the 4.5% of EDs that are accredited Geriatric EDs (GEDs), only 40% (90/225) have a program for fall risk assessment. Updating guidelines to identify the target population for PT clearly and address challenges in current practice could greatly increase uptake of this valuable practice

Purpose: Our goal is to better understand emergency department (ED) administrators' current attitudes about physical therapy (PT)-based fall risk interventions for older adults in the ED in order to inform the development of guidelines on when PT assessment is needed during the ED visit.

Project status: Enrolling

Coordinator Role: screen, consent, enroll and collect data.

Open to students: Yes

IRB: H-51792




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