Economic studies in BC seniors at high risk of injurious falls

Falling and fall-related injuries are a major health concern for the elderly. It is estimated that 40 per cent of people over age 75 will experience a fall at least once per year. This is a health issue with significant costs to the healthcare system, and to the elderly population. Fall prevention programs exist; however, research and evidence on the cost-effectiveness of these programs is lacking in Canada. The analysis of the costs and cost effectiveness of health technologies is becoming an increasingly important issue in healthcare decision-making. If economic evaluations are missing, decision-makers will lack an important aspect for fully informed decision-making. John Woolcott is conducting one of the first Canadian-based costing assessments of the impact of falls and is investigating the cost effectiveness of fall prevention programs. John is determining the direct and indirect costs of injurious falls in BC and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of existing interventions currently in place to reduce seniors’ falls. He is also focusing his research on how injurious falls affect the quality of life of 400 seniors in BC. John’s research will further educate the health care community regarding the substantial costs of falls and will further inform decision-makers regarding cost-effective interventions.