EGPRN involved in Frailty and Falls project

The European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN), a network of WONCA Europe, is proud to announce its involvement in an ERASMUS+ (is the European Commission programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe) project on innovative training for technology-based frailty and falls management with the project “Fall-in-Age”

Project website
The “Fall-in-Age” project is a strategic partnership for advanced education between four partners: Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; Instituto de Biomecanica de Valencia, Spain; Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani INRCA of Ancona, Italy; and the EGPRN.

The “Fall-in-Age” project aims to develop and implement an online open course for students, specialists and professionals in the area of community healthcare and geriatrics. The course focuses on the application of biomechanical technologies for the assessment and treatment of frailty, and the reduction of the number of falls in elderly people.

A first draft of the course will be available in the beginning of 2020. A final version is expected to be released at the end of 2020. Over the two years of the project, several dissemination events and workshops related to frailty and falls management, will be held in Portugal, Spain, and Italy and in EGPRN meetings.

Challenges & Motivation
According to the WHO, prevention strategies to be adopted by health systems should be aimed at the identification of risk factors. Since, one in three older adults suffers at least one fall per year, falls are one of the main geriatric syndromes and the second world cause of accidental or unintentional death. A fall also implies deterioration in the autonomy of the elderly, decreasing their quality of life and that of their social environment, thus, increasing their frailty.

The aim of this project is the development and implementation of an online free access course to provide students, specialists and healthcare professionals with a valuable and meaningful training on the available biomechanical technologies to assess frailty and the risk of falls in elderly people, which ultimately can contribute to reduce the number of falls in this population.

The project is planned for two years and the tasks are developed under a framework of three intellectual outputs:
• O1. Curriculum of the “Fall-In-Age” course;
• O2. Pilot Course integrated on the e-learning platform;
• O3. Final version of the online course in English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.

Expected Results
The project hopes to enrich medical students and health professionals’ knowledge on the optimisation of the assessment processes of frailty and the risk of falls of elderly people. This will allow them to acquire the expected knowledge on the use of cutting-edge biomechanical technologies for improving their skills and subsequently the care they will provide to patients.

Additionally, promoting a web-based open access online course complements work-based learning and apprenticeship-type training and will contribute to better standardisation and qualifications of target users. This will provide new employment opportunities for them.

Finally, the project is expected to have an impact on indirect target users, namely patients and policy makers. Patients will benefit from more experienced and well-informed clinical staff, who will be able to deliver a better care, thus improving patient independence and quality of life. The knowledge and the use of the suitable biomechanical technologies will reduce inappropriate care and unnecessary costs for the healthcare systems.

The course will be officially presented during the 90th EGPRN conference in Goteborg (Sweden) coming from 7-10 May 2020 and at the WONCA Europe conference in Berlin (Germany) coming from 24-27 June 2020.

The EGPRN “Fall-in-Age Project” team
Shlomo Vinker,
Thomas Frese,
Ferdinando Petrazzuoli,
Miguel-Angel Muñoz Pérez