UAH College of Nursing and the Center for Aging, Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., recently partnered to conduct a comprehensive research study to reduce the risk of falls in the elderly. The study is scheduled to begin in fall 2015.
Serving as principal investigators for the project on the UAH campus will be Dr. Karen Frith, professor of Nursing and DNP coordinator, and Dr. Zaheer Khan, a geriatric specialist who founded the Center for Aging. Khan established a comprehensive community-based fall prevention program for the elderly, nearly 15 years ago. Assisting Dr. Frith with implementation of the fall study are co-investigators and nursing faculty members, Dr. Rose Linsky, and Amy Hunter.
The study will examine three key factors that contribute to the risk of falls in the elderly: polypharmacy (medication management), balance and coordination, and home safety. After a detailed medical history has been conducted on each person participating in the study, College of Nursing faculty and students will monitor patients for one year and chart their progress. All patient costs associated with the study will be paid by Medicare.