Loop Evidence Summary: Fall Prevention and COVID-19
In March 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. During this global public health crisis, health professionals are being challenged to maintain fall-related risk screening, assessment, rehabilitation and prevention activities in a safe manner that follows the directives imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. This challenge has been compounded by these public health directives, such as mandatory masking, social distancing, restrictions on movement, and limits on social contact, which have exacerbated known risk factors (e.g., social isolation) or introduced novel risk factors (e.g., masking) for fall-related injuries.
The Loop Fall Prevention Community of Practice developed an evidence summary which reviews the impact of COVID-19 on risk factors contributing to fall-related injuries. It also summarizes current and emerging evidence on the effective planning and implementation of fall risk screening and assessment, fall care, fall rehabilitation and fall prevention initiatives, all of which have become largely reliant on virtual modalities of delivery in order to comply with COVID-19 countermeasures. The summary concludes with key implications for fall prevention policy and practice over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.