Older Adults' Perceptions and Recommendations Regarding a Falls Prevention Self-Management Plan Template Based on the Health Belief Model: A Mixed-Methods Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Feb 9;19(4):1938. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19041938.


Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults. Self-management plans have been used in different contexts to promote healthy behaviors, but older adults' perceptions of a falls prevention self-management plan template have not been investigated. Using mixed methods, we investigated older adults' perceptions and recommendations of a falls prevention self-management plan template aligned with the Health Belief Model. Four focus groups (n = 27, average age 78 years) were conducted using semi-structured interview guides. Participants also ranked the written plan on paper with respect to each item by the level of importance, where item 1 was the most important, and 10 was the least important. Focus groups were transcribed and analyzed. Descriptive statistics were calculated for item rankings. Older adults felt that the plan would raise awareness and help them to engage in falls prevention behaviors. Participants recommended adding graphics and using red to highlight the risk of falling. Participants opined that ranking the items by level of importance was challenging because they felt all items were important. 'What might happen to me if I fall' was ranked as the most important item (average 2.6), while 'How will I monitor progress' was the least important (average = 6.6). Considering that older adults need support to engage in falls prevention, future research should investigate the impact of implementing an individually tailored falls prevention self-management plan on older adults' engagement in falls prevention behaviors and outcomes of falls and injuries.

Keywords: adherence; behavioral change; health belief model; patient engagement; patient-centered design; shared decision-making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Self-Management*