Champlain Primary Care Digest

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Falls Risk Screening Research Project

Falls are a leading cause of injury among seniors. 20-30% of seniors (age 65+) experience one or more falls each year and 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations are due to falls.

The Champlain LHIN IMPACTT Centre is conducting a research project supported with Ontario Centres of Excellence funding from the MOHLTC Ontario Chief Innovation Strategist.

This project will ddetermine the value of a falls prediction model that leverages a new technology; QTUGTM and uses trained technicians (non-professionals such as personal support workers) to engage seniors that are normally not being actively screened for falls, and to identify those at higher risk of falling prior to their first fall.

If a senior has been identified with a moderate to very high falls risk, we are suggesting they take the handout materials and speak with their physician or other healthcare professionals to better understand what may be contributing to their risk of falls and what they can do to help prevent falls.

 What is QTUGTM?

The “Timed Up and Go” or TUG test is one tool that health professionals use during a falls assessment.  It consists of the person getting up from a chair walking 3 meters, turning around, walking back the 3 meters and sitting down while the professional monitors the time it takes, the gait, steadiness, etc.

The QTUGTM uses sensors worn on the shins (over clothing) and a hand-held tablet to track the person during the TUG test.  With proven qualitative input, analytical data and algorithms it produces a Falls Risk Score.

First, the person is asked a few questions about age, weight, height, recent falls, any problems with mobility, medications, blood pressure, dizziness and/or vision. The sensors and tablet then measure the time taken to stand, average stride time, average stride velocity, step time variability, time taken to turn, number of steps in turn and time to complete the test. The sensor information combined with the short falls questionnaire determines your risk of falling.

For more information contact the IMPACTT Centre.

Email: Judy Marshall-Brunke 

Tel: 613-745-8124, ext. 5879 | Toll Free: 1.800-538-0520


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