Osteoarthritis (OA) and falls both commonly affect older people. While high-level evidence exists to prevent falls in older people, falls prevention is rarely considered within contemporary OA management. OA care and falls prevention have for too long been considered as separate clinical constructs. In the context of ageing populations and growing numbers of people with OA, the time to raise awareness and enact appropriate action is now. This Perspectives on Rehabilitation article draws on the findings from a comprehensive mixed-methods falls and OA research program (which uniquely spanned population, clinician, and consumer perspectives) to better understand existing evidence-practice gaps and identify key opportunities for improvements in clinical care.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION While high-level evidence exists to prevent falls in older people, falls prevention is rarely considered within contemporary OA management and this represents a concerning knowledge-to-practice gap. Given ageing populations and growth in the number of people with OA, it is time for falls prevention to be incorporated within routine OA care for older people. To achieve this, we need to re-shape current messaging around falls prevention and develop targeted resources to optimise clinician knowledge and skills in this area.
- evidence-based practice
- falls prevention