• accidental fall;
  • community health services;
  • falls prevention;
  • nursing;
  • older people;
  • primary care

wong e.l.y., woo j., cheung a.w.l. & yeung p.-y. (2011) Determinants of participation in a fall assessment and prevention programme among elderly fallers in Hong Kong: prospective cohort study. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(4), 763–773.


Aims.  The study was undertaken to estimate the uptake rate of a fall prevention programme among older fallers and explore related factors.

Background.  Fall injuries are a major cause nationally of the loss of independence in old age, but they are preventable. Acceptance of fall prevention programmes is therefore important to reduce the risk of falling.

Methods.  Patients aged ≥60 attending the Department of Accident & Emergency of a regional hospital in Hong Kong between 2006 and 2007 were recruited. The study included a baseline interview, focus group interview and a cross-sectional 1-year follow-up telephone survey to assess uptake and its related factors.

Results.  A total 68% of 1194 older people attended the fall programme. Factors associated with programme participation included the perception of fall as being preventable [OR = 3·47, 95% CI (1·59–7·56)] or recoverable [OR = 1·73, 95% CI (1·06–2·82)], a safe outside environment; absence of chronic illness, and ability to walk without aids. Old-age people, those living in old-age homes and of lower education level were less likely to join the programme.

Conclusion.  Older people with the selected characteristics were less likely to attend the fall prevention programme, thus were less likely to benefit from them. Support from family/carers may be an important element in participation. In a nursing context, in primary care practice, all of these factors should be taken into account in any future development of a fall prevention programme in Hong Kong of this nature.