Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) will examine a clinical falls prevention-intervention targeted at adults with intellectual disability (ID). Studies in the population with intellectual disability suggest tat people with intellectual and developmental disability are at greater risk of falls across their lifespan. For individuals who already experience disability to some degree, falls injuries can have an enormous impact on health and function. The Massachusetts based Visiting Rehab Services LLC has developed a falls prevention program: Upright and Onward, using evidence-based approaches developed for use in the geriatric population. In order to evaluate and establish the evidence base for falls prevention approaches in the population with ID, the research team will conduct a pilot study to examine the current Upright and Onward falls prevention intervention, use assessment and treatment notes to operationalize the components of the clinical assessment and treatment, and assess the feasibility of using similar methods to study effectiveness of falls-prevention interventions in a community residential setting for people with ID.
This project will assist in developing the evidence base for interventions to reduce falls injuries in people with intellectual disability. Research has shown that the people with intellectual disability are more likely to experience an injury from a fall thn people their age who do not have an intellectual disability. Evidence based interventions have been developed to reduce falls-risk among the elderly, but no such evidence based interventions exist for the population with intellectual disability. This pilot study will examine community based falls prevention program targeted at people with intellectual disability and to develop research methods that can be used in future falls-prevention studies in this population.