Falls prevention project

The aim of this HRB Applied Partnership Award (APA) study was to investigate the sustainability of an integrated falls prevention pathway for community-dwelling older people, specifically, to identify any gaps or delays in the provision of treatment to older people at risk of falls and to assess the scalability of the Integrated Falls Prevention Pathway to ascertain its suitability for scaling up. The study is being conducted together with stakeholders in the HSE Services for Older People, local hospitals, and community services in Cork-Kerry Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO4). Principal Investigator for the study is Dr Sheena McHugh. Dr Susan Calnan is the Postdoctoral Researcher working on the study.

Why are we doing this research?

This initiative is one example of an integrated care pathway in the National Integrated Care Programme for Older People. The service provides access to multifactorial assessment for older people in Cork city and county in dedicated falls risk assessment clinics. Falls are one of the most serious and common threats to older people. It is possible to reduce the risk of falls by assessing individuals’ risk factors and providing appropriate treatment if necessary.

What is involved?

There were two main work packages:

  1. A mixed methods study to quantify demand, uptake and potential delays within the service using process mapping and analysis of audit data
  2. A study to assess the scalability of the pathway and to identify factors/evidence required to support future scale-up.

APA Falls project outputs


  • Association of University Department of General Practice in Ireland (AUDGPI) Annual Joint Scientific Conference 2021. Oral presentation, “A study to assess the scalability of an integrated falls prevention service for community-dwelling older people” & “A qualitative study to identify factors influencing the perceived acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility of implementing a falls risk assessment service in primary care. Oral presentation. Presenter: Dr Susan Calnan.
  • UK Implementation Science Research Conference 2020. Oral presentation, “A qualitative study to examine the acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility of implementing an integrated falls prevention pathway for older people” Presenter: Susan Calnan.
  • AFFINITY National Falls and Bone Health Symposium 2019. Poster presentation, “An Evaluation of the Implementation of an Integrated Falls and Fractures Pathway” Presenter: Rebecca Dennehy.
  • Irish Gerontology Society 2019. Oral presentation, “Investigating the Delivery of Falls Prevention Interventions to Older People Following Multi-Factorial Risk Assessment: A Cross-Sectional Study” Presenter: Rebecca Dennehy. 


Health Implementation Research Hub

School of Public Health, Western Gateway Building, T12 XF62,