Falls - costs, numbers and links with visual impairment
What is the number and cost of falls attributed to sight loss, and can clinicians prevent patient falls related to a loss of sight in the future?
Title: Falls - costs, numbers and links with visual impairment
Author: Tammy Boyce; Publisher: RNIB.
This paper considers the evidence concerning the number and cost of falls attributed to partial sightedness and blindness. A large body of evidence examines the causes of falls, with the majority of research examining falls in the elderly as they account for most of all fallers. However, understanding the role of partial sightedness and blindness as a cause of falls is studied less and therefore less well understood.
- The number of falls is increasing, and a large body of research examines the causes of these falls. However, the role of partial sightedness and blindness as a cause of falls is studied less, and so is less well understood.
- The full financial cost of these falls to the NHS and social care has not been calculated, however it is conservatively estimated at £25 million per year.
- Research has used a complicated formula involving relative risk to estimate the number of falls attributed to partial sightedness and blindness, and a modified version of this formula has been created to make it easier for agencies to calculate the number of falls in their areas.
- Getting clinicians to acknowledge the role of partial sightedness and blindness in falls will be difficult, not only because there is less evidence of the role of partial sightedness and blindness in falls, but because it is difficult to change clinical behaviour to emphasise prevention rather than treatment.