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Engagement of general practitioners in falls prevention assessment and referral to allied health practitioners - a cross-sectional survey

posted on 2018-12-14, 10:54 authored by Anne McIntyre, Lynette Mackenzie, michele harvey

This project used a cross-sectional survey method to gather information from GPs practicing in England. As the GP system operates differently in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, these GPs were not included in the study.

The survey was developed based on literature related to GP practice in falls prevention, current falls prevention clinical guidelines, completed Australian studies, and the results of pilot on-line survey, in conjunction with feedback from a group of GPs and a focus group of older people.

All 211 Community Care Groups (CCGs) in NHS England were approached to support the survey, and 4 CCGs opted out. The survey was provided as both a paper survey to 4000 randomly selected GPs and a further 3,200 GPs were invited to participate via an online version of the same survey (using the Bristol Online Survey software). As advised by GP advisors we sent letter to GP practice managers and included an evidence-based invitation letter (as well as participant information sheet) for GPs, in order to enhance response rate.

Survey topics included the perceptions, knowledge and routine practice of GPs in relation to identifying, screening and assessing falls risks in their people, their falls management and referral practices, and barriers and facilitators to them effectively preventing falls in their older people.

The study has contributed to the methodological debate about paper versus online survey response rates. In this study the response rate was equally poor for both versions. Response rate was seemingly higher of GPs from CCGs who had actively endorsed participation in the study.

· Letter to GP practice managers

· Evidence-based letter to GPs

· Participant Information sheet

· Paper copy of Survey

· Spreadsheet of raw data – complete set, paper, online

· Publication reference: McIntyre A, Mackenzie L, Harvey M (2018) Engagement of general practitioners in falls prevention and referral to occupational therapists. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, (online)

· Copy of presentation given at Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ 2017 conference


Research Career Development Grant from the UK Occupational Therapy Research Foundation (R33364 RCDG)


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