Falls Links 

 June 2023 | Issue 2 

Welcome to the June 2023 issue of our newsletter


  • Highlights from the recent #FallsForum23 
  • Webinar recordings:

    • Promoting physical activity across settings. Presented by Prof Pazit Levinger, Prof Debra Waters and Dr. Christina Ekegren

  • Do non-slip socks reduce falls?  - A summary from a recent review on the safety of non-slip socks in hospitals 
  • Research highlight
    • In Australian hospitals and residential aged care facilities, how do we train nursing and direct care staff to assist patients and residents to move? A national survey 
  • Fall Prevention Resources
    • A CDC Compendium of Effective Fall Interventions: What Works for Community-Dwelling Older Adults, 4th Edition
  • Upcoming webinars
    • Free webinar: Falls and the environment - A Cochrane systematic review
  • Upcoming conferences
    • International Society for Posture and Gait World Congress
    • ANZHFR Binational HIP FEST
    • APA Physiotherapy Conference
    • International Forum on Quality and Safety
    • International Motor Impairment Conference
    • ANZFPS Falls Prevention Conference & World Falls Congress


A huge thank you to everyone who attended our NSW Fall Prevention & Healthy Ageing Network Annual Forum on Friday 26th May. It was a fantastic day getting to meet with old colleagues, as well as make new connections with like-minded individuals who share a passion for better health outcomes for older people. The program was jam-packed with amazing content, including 7 plenary speakers, an expert panel discussion, 10 poster presentations, 8 exhibitors, 9 early career research presentations, 2 practical exercise workshops, and 17 clinicians sharing their best practice initiatives across community, hospital, and aged care settings. It was encouraging to see such a great turnout, with close to 300 people attending in-person and an additional 230 people tuning in online. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make this year's falls forum such a success!


Recordings of forum presentations and slides will be on our website next month. Stay tuned for updates!

Some key take-homes from the plenary sessions:

  1. 'Optimal ageing' may be another term that acknowledges those individuals who may face barriers to accessing resources and services that enable ‘healthy’ ageing.
  2. Older people are diverse in their abilities, motivations and goals. Remember our clinical goals are often not the same. Ask the right questions, and listen to the answers.
  3. The cost of falls is rising, government action is needed now. We can all play a role in increasing awareness on ageism and advocating for a sustained and comprehensive policy on fall prevention.
  4. Mobilising safely not safety by immobilisation.
  5. Launch of the updated Australia's National Guidelines: Preventing Falls and Harm From Falls in Older People - this November! 

Right: Prof Anne Tiedemann presenting the Pam Albany Guest Lecture. 

Left: A/Prof France Batchelor presenting on the utilisation of the COM-B Model of Behaviour Change.


Right: Prof Stephen Lord compiling 30years of fall prevention research. 



Left: Prof Kim Delbaere presenting a Systems Thinking approach to fall prevention.


Right: Prof Stephen Lord presents Ms Lorraine Lovitt the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding services to the NSW Fall Prevention & Healthy Ageing Network.

Above: (left to right) Maree Connelly, Daina Sturnieks, Lorraine Lovitt, Kim Delbaere, Stephen Lord, Natassia Smith, Ingrid Hutchinson, Margaret Armstrong.


A webinar presented by the ANZFPS Early-Mid Career Researcher Sub-Committee

Promoting physical activity across settings. This webinar took place on May 8th, 2023 highlighting programs aimed at encouraging physical activity in older people across community and hospital settings.  


Recording now available here.

Question: Do non-slip socks reduce falls?


Non-slip socks are used in many hospitals as a falls prevention strategy. However there is currently no evidence that they reduce falls in hospital.


A rapid review of the literature found that of the studies conducted in hospitals there was either no impact on falls, or falls increased. In addition, the studies were of poor methodological quality and at high risk of bias. Studies conducted in the laboratory setting concluded that slip resistance of non-slip socks is variable and at best had similar slip resistance to walking in bare feet. The review also identified that non-slip socks may be associated with risk of bacterial transfer. Based on the current evidence, we would not recommend non-slip socks be used as a falls prevention strategy.


We recommend patients are supported and encouraged to wear appropriate footwear wherever possible. Patients unable to wear appropriate footwear should be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine the most appropriate solution for them.

Jazayeri D, Heng H, Slade SC, et al. Benefits and risks of non-slip socks in hospitals: a rapid review. Int J Qual Health Care. Apr 9 2021;33(2)doi:10.1093/intqhc/mzab057


Author: Professor Cathy Said. Summary first published in the Victoria Fall Prevention Alliance March 2023 newsletter.



In Australian hospitals and residential aged care facilities, how do we train nursing and direct care staff to assist patients and residents to move? A national survey 

Natasha Brusco, Terry Haines, Nicholas F. Taylor, Helen Rawson, Leanne Boyd, Christina Ekegren, Helen Kugler, Helen Dawes, Camilla Radia-George, Christine Graven and Keith Hill

Australian Health Review 47(3) 331-338 22nd May 2023 https://doi.org/10.1071/AH22296




Nursing workplace injuries related to staff-assisted patient/resident movement occur frequently, however, little is known about the programs that aim to prevent these injuries. The objectives of this study were to: (i) describe how Australian hospitals and residential aged care services provide manual handling training to staff and the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on training; (ii) report issues relating to manual handling; (iii) explore the inclusion of dynamic risk assessment; and (iv) describe the barriers and potential improvements.



Using a cross-sectional design, an online 20-min survey was distributed by email, social media, and snowballing to Australian hospitals and residential aged care services.



Respondents were from 75 services across Australia, with a combined 73 000 staff who assist patients/residents to mobilise. Most services provide staff manual handling training on commencement (85%; n = 63/74), then annually (88% n = 65/74). Since the COVID-19 pandemic, training was less frequent, shorter in duration, and with greater online content. Respondents reported issues with staff injuries (63% n = 41), patient/resident falls (52% n = 34), and patient/resident inactivity (69% n = 45). Dynamic risk assessment was missing in part or in whole from most programs (92% n = 67/73), despite a belief that this may reduce staff injuries (93% n = 68/73), patient/resident falls (81% n = 59/73) and inactivity (92% n = 67/73). Barriers included insufficient staff and time, and improvements included giving residents a say in how they move and greater access to allied health.



Most Australian health and aged care services provide clinical staff with regular manual handling training for staff-assisted patient/resident movement, however, issues with staff injuries, as well as patient/resident falls and inactivity, remain. While there was a belief that dynamic in-the-moment risk assessment during staff-assisted patient/resident movement may improve staff and resident/patient safety, it was missing from most manual handling programs.


Please see attached PDF copy of the full article


A CDC Compendium of Effective Fall Interventions: What Works for Community-Dwelling Older Adults, 4th Edition


This collection of effective fall interventions is designed to help public health practitioners, senior service providers, clinicians and others who want to address older adult falls in their community.


The recently published 4th edition of the Compendium describes 34 single interventions (17 exercise interventions, 5 home modification interventions, and 12 clinical interventions) and 16 multi-faceted interventions (addressing multiple risk factors). Each intervention is presented using a standardised format that includes a short summary and additional implementation details:

  • Purpose
  • Program setting
  • Content
  • Number of sessions
  • Duration
  • Type of provider
  • Provider’s training
  • Key elements
  • Available materials
  • Contact information for the principal investigator

The Compendium also includes summary tables comparing characteristics of different interventions, a bibliography, and supplemental materials.



For further information and other STEDI resources please visit the CDC here.



A short audio summary of the Cochrane review


Environmental interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community

Lindy Clemson, Susan Stark, Alison C Pighills, Nicola J Fairhall, Sarah E Lamb, Jinnat Ali, Catherine Sherrington

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2023, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD013258. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013258.pub2




International Society for Posture and Gait World Congress
July 9-13, Brisbane, QLD 


Virtual Attendance options!


Find out more

ANZHFR Binational HIP FEST 2023
September 11, Sunshine Coast, QLD


FREE! Virtual Attendance options!


Find out more

APA Physiotherapy Conference

October 5-7, Brisbane, QLD


Worth checking out the Gerontology program!


Find out more

International Forum on Quality and Safety
Oct 30 - Nov 1, Melbourne, VIC



Find out more



3rd International Motor Impairment Conference
November 20-22, Sydney, NSW



Find out more



Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Conference & World Falls Congress
November 26-28, Perth, WA


Don't miss out on the launch of the new ACSQHC Australian Fall Prevention Guidelines!

Find out more




Our vision is to lead the way in fall prevention and other healthy ageing initiatives by harnessing expert knowledge and being collaborative in all we do.


We work closely with researchers, policy makers, health practitioners and community service providers in the development and promotion of healthy ageing services and programs with a focus on preventing falls and fall-related injury.


Our purpose is to support practitioners to improve the lives of older Australians through healthy ageing initiatives with a focus on preventing falls and fall-related injuries.


Do you have any news on Falls Prevention or healthy ageing that you want to share with others on the network, or report on a project that is happening in your area. We also welcome suggestions for articles and information you would like to see in this newsletter. Send your news and suggestions to: fallsnetwork@neura.edu.au

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Contact Us:

Telephone +61 2 9399 1063

Email fallsnetwork@neura.edu.au


Our mailing address is:
NSW Falls Prevention Network
Neuroscience Research Australia
PO Box 1165
Randwick NSW 2031


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