Reducing Falls Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults From Clinicians' Perspectives: A Systems Modeling Approach.


Background and objectives

Falls among older adults are a significant health problem globally. Studies of multicomponent fall prevention programs in randomized controlled trials demonstrate effectiveness in reducing falls; however, the translation of research into the community remains challenging. Although there is an increasing interest to understand the factors contributing to implementation barriers, the dynamic relationships between factors are less well examined. Furthermore, evidence on implementation barriers from Asia is lacking as most of these studies originate from the West. As such, this study aims to engage stakeholders in uncovering the factors that facilitate or inhibit implementing community-based fall prevention programs in Singapore, with a focus on the interrelationship between those factors.

Research design and methods

Health care professionals familiar with fall prevention programs were invited to discuss the enablers and challenges to the implementation. This effort was facilitated using a systems modeling methodology of Group Model Building (GMB) to share ideas and create a common conceptual model of the challenges. The GMB employs various engagement techniques to draw on the experiences and perceptions of all stakeholders involved.


This process led to the development of a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD), a qualitative conceptual model of the dynamic relationships between the barriers and facilitators of implementing fall prevention programs. Results from the CLD show that implementation is influenced by two main drivers: health care provider factors that influenced referrals, and patient factors that influenced referral acceptance and long-term adherence. Key leverage points for potential interventions were identified as well.

Discussion and implications

The overall recommendation emphasized closer coordination and collaboration across providers to ensure sustainable and effective community-based fall prevention programs. This has to be supported by a national effort, involving a multidisciplinary stakeholder advisory group. These findings generated would be promising to guide future approaches to fall prevention.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Koh, Vanessa Jean Wen, David B Matchar, Angelique Wei-Ming Chan, June May-Ling Lee, Wei Xuan Lai, Dulcie Rosario, Anne George, Vanda Ho, et al. (2023). Reducing Falls Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults From Clinicians' Perspectives: A Systems Modeling Approach. Innovation in aging, 7(7). p. igad077. 10.1093/geroni/igad077 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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