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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005



  • To gain an understanding of the current issues surrounding falls prevention across Europe and to embrace at national and international level, the different political and health service agendas in each country such that recommendations can ultimately be translated into working models of practice in each country.

  • To establish a robust network of key members across Europe to facilitate the effective and efficient promulgation of evidence likely to influence service developments at national and local level.

  • To derive a consensus approach to assessment and management of older people at risk of falling in a variety of clinical settings using the existing evidence base as well as experts in the field

  • To ultimately facilitate a pan-European approach to assessment and management of falls whilst minimising impact on clinical autonomy and paving the way for further research activity within member states.

Description of work: This work package focuses on the development of a consensus approach to the assessment and management of falls in older people across Europe. Fundamental to this process is the development of a clear understanding of how services across Europe are currently configured and what the national and international drivers for change might be over the next 5–10yrs. The ultimate aim is to be able to facilitate the development of a set of comparable assessment and outcome measures to be used in a large randomised controlled trial with fracture as the primary outcome measure. Year 1. Whilst undertaking the networking exercise in year 1, members had the opportunity to visit key individuals in European countries and anticipate the potential opportunities and constraints of developing and delivering falls services in a co-ordinated and comprehensive fashion. Year 2 focuses on the development of assessment tools, which can be tailored so as to be applied in a variety of clinical settings from community based assessment to the highly specialised investigation units. The work package links closely with other work packages on balance and gait and psychology to ensure consensus in recommendations. In addition to the recommendations for clinical assessment and management, the work package also provides advice and guidance on evaluation and audit of services and as such links closely with the taxonomy work. Recommendations are to be peer reviewed. Year 3 entails the collation of agreed assessment and evaluation methods and the translation of the recommendations into a format for dissemination including written documentation translated into a number of different languages and an interactive website with links to relevant organisation across Europe and the rest of the world. Year 4. During the final year, members of the work package take responsibility for the dissemination of the work to clinical colleagues.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.