Ho, P., Bulsara, C., Patman, S., Downs, J., & Hill, A. (2020). Exploring enablers and barriers to accessing health services after a fall among people with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 33 (3), 604-617.
Background: Adults with intellectual disability experience high rates of falls making falls prevention an important health need. The purpose of the study was to seek perspectives of older adults with intellectual disability and their caregivers to (a) explore the experiences of older adults with intellectual disability when seeking healthcare services after a fall and (b) identify enablers and barriers when taking up evidence-based falls recommendations.
Method: A qualitative exploratory study was undertaken as part of a prospective observational cohort study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample. Data were analysed thematically using Colaizzi's method.
Results: Seventeen interviews were conducted (n = 21). Emergent themes demonstrated that participants had limited knowledge about falls prevention. Enablers included individualizing falls prevention strategies. Barriers included not being offered access to established falls prevention pathways.
Conclusion: There is an urgent need to develop high-quality falls prevention services for older adults with intellectual disability.
accidental falls, barriers and enablers, intellectual disability, referral and consultation