Title of Work

Identifying Fall Prevention Content in Graduate Healthcare Curricula

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

January 2020





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ISSUE: An interprofessional team-based approach to fall prevention is advocated to address the public health issue of fall-related injuries. The purpose of this study was to analyze fall-related curricular content across graduate physician assistant, nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy healthcare programs. METHODS: The research team conducted a qualitative thematic analysis of fall risk, assessment, and intervention content in graduate program textbooks, curricular narrative, and course objectives. OUTCOME: The four curricular themes identified were universal fall risks, varied assessments, discipline-based interventions, and minimal interprofessional approaches. All curricula universally covered fall risks. Curricular coverage of fall assessment varied by discipline. The physician assistant and nursing curricula focused on assessing fall risk and safety, while the occupational and physical therapy covered standardized functional assessments. The disciplines of physical and occupational therapy provided curricular instruction in restorative or compensatory interventions. All curricula included the interventions of patient and caregiver education and environmental modifications. Curricular coverage of an interprofessional approach to fall prevention was minimal. CONCLUSION: This study identified universal fall risks, varied fall assessments, and discipline-based fall interventions across four graduate healthcare curricula. There was minimal evidence of education in an interprofessional approach to fall prevention.