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Reducing Falls and Injury from Falls Intervention


Friday, March 21,  2014


  • Canadian Patient Safety Institute
  • Safer Healthcare Now!
  • Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

Guest Speakers:

Stephen Robinovitch, Ph.D., is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Injury Prevention at Simon Fraser University. He received his B.A.Sc. degree in 1988 in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. degree in 1995 in Medical Engineering from MIT/ Harvard. He is a past recipient of a New Investigator Award from CIHR, and a Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. His research focuses on the cause and prevention of falls and fall-related injuries in older adults, and incorporates biomechanics, neurophysiology, and clinical research methods. He currently leads a program in “Technology for Injury Prevention in Seniors” (, involving two long-term care facilities who partner as “real life” laboratories for gathering in-depth evidence on falls (through video capture and wearable sensors), and exploring the effectiveness of interventions such as wearable hip protectors and compliant flooring for preventing fall-related injuries.


  • Susan McNeill, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
  • Nadine Glenn, Canadian Patient Safety Institute
  • Hélène Riverin, French Language Support, Canadian Patient Safety Institute


This presentation will review and discuss the new knowledge generated from the collection and analysis of “real-life” falls (over 1000 falls in 350 individuals, captured on video in long-term care), on the cause and prevention of falls and fall-related injuries in older adults. Specific objectives include:

  1. To gain an improved understanding of the circumstances of falls in older adults. Topics include: causes of imbalance and activities associated with falls; balance recovery and safe landing strategies; role of mobility aids in falls; interactions between intrinsic, situational and environmental factors; and accuracy of fall incident reports.
  2. To understand the factors that separate injurious and non—injurious falls, with specific focus on head impact, and hip fracture.
  3. To identify new methods for preventing falls and fall-related injuries. Strategies to be discussed include: the role of upper limb strengthening in exercise programs; hip protectors and compliant flooring; fall risk assessment; and opportunities for data sharing.