Falls prevention in the older person

Who offers the course?

The George Institute for Global Health - a Sydney University affiliated research institute.

The course is taught by Professor Cathie Sherrington and Dr Anne Tiedmann.

Who is this course for?

Postgraduate public health students, public health trainees, health professionals and individuals with an interest in falls prevention in the older person.

What is the level of assumed/required knowledge?

An undergraduate degree and familiarity with the internet and email.

Course overview

This fully online unit aims to teach participants about the principles of falls prevention in the older person with an emphasis on the application of these principles in the field. The unit will focus on risk factors for falls and the development, implementation and evaluation of fall prevention programs.

Students will learn about and discuss research methods for the understanding of, prediction of, and prevention of falls, critically evaluate journal articles, and discuss the development of fall prevention programs using case studies.

Course Aim
This unit will teach students about the principles of falls prevention and falls injury prevention in the older person, with a focus on the practical application of these principles in the field.

Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of falls prevention and falls injury prevention
  • Apply these principles to deal with problems in practice

This one-semester online unit provides a basis for the assessment and investigation of falls prevention and falls injury prevention, and the development, implementation and evaluation of falls prevention programs.

Key topics include:

  • Risk factors of falls
  • The burden and economic implications of falls in the older person
  • Development and implementation of fall prevention programs
  • Principles of program evaluation

Course duration

One semester

How is the course assessed?

1x 2000 word written assignment (60%)
1 x assignment with "short answer" questions (20%)
Participation in moderated online discussions (20%)

Can this course contribute to an academic degree?

Yes - this unit is a postgraduate elective in Public Health.

The unit may be completed by non-award students (ie without enrollment in a full post-graduate degree). Students can also enroll in this course and earn credit to be accrued toward future enrollment in an approved course of study at the University of Sydney. To earn course credit, the student will be required to successfully complete the assessment tasks.

Course delivery

This course is delivered online with interactive online sessions moderated by an expert in the field and practical case studies.

  • One semester, online course
  • Lectures and revision materials
  • Practical case studies to promote online interaction and discussion
  • Interactive tutorials

Students will need to have access to a computer (Windows 95 or above / Mac OS 7.5 or above) with Internet facilities and a reasonable connection speed (ideally broadband). The lecture materials are presented using standard Microsoft Office programs and Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf).

Recommended reading
Lord SR, Sherrington C, Menz, H, Close J (2007). Falls in Older People: Risk factors and Strategies for Prevention. Cambridge University Press (2nd edition).

Course cost

2014 course costs to be advised

Course dates

Second Semester 2014

Is this course accredited for CME points?


Further information and registration

Please contact the course coordinator

Contact person/Course coordinator

T: 02 9657 0361

Last updated

October 2013