Purpose- Falls are common in older adults and are associated with injuries and serious
ongoing problems. This paper presents a participatory evaluation of a Falls Awareness
Programme implemented in South Wales for older adults living in sheltered housing
schemes or in the community. It identifies methodological issues and provides
recommendations for evaluation design and methods for community-based interventions in
the future.

Methods- A mixed-methods study combining a non-experimental pretest-posttest design
with face-to-face focus groups.

Findings- Concerns about falling and self-reported general health at baseline were worse
for participants living in sheltered housing schemes, compared to participants in the
community. There was no statistically significant change between baseline and follow-up in
general health or concerns about falling, however the data suggesting the programme may
be more effective for people in sheltered housing schemes. Participants reported making
small but sustainable behaviour changes following the programme and described
unexpected outcomes from the programme, e.g. socialising and meeting new people.

Originality/value- This paper demonstrates the benefit of engaging older adults in research
using a participatory approach, highlights key components of community-based interventions
for older people and identifies some methodological issues when conducting evaluations in
the community. Specifically, it highlights the importance of selecting appropriate
measurement tools for data collection and the utility of continuous monitoring where
programme participation is flexible and fluid.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalWorking with Older People
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Falls, Public Health, Older people, Ageing well, Public participation, Evaluation

ID: 4332397