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KaatumisSeula®: Implementation of Evidence-Based Fall Prevention for Communities

KaatumisSeula® is a feasible approach to screening the fall risk of older adults and implementing preventive measures in the community. New tools created for fall risk screening and informing evidence-based preventive measures make it possible for NGOs and non-professionals to cooperate with healthcare professionals. 

Background: Why this was needed? 

Compelling scientific evidence shows that every third fall among older adults can be prevented. It is also known that effective preventive measures need to rest on knowledge of the individual fall risk. These facts underscore the importance of fall risk screening.  

In Finland, screening the fall risk and consequent preventive measures are not used systematically. Thus, the implementation of evidence-based methods for communities is necessary. Fall prevention is typically done by healthcare professionals. However, volunteers and those working in the non-profit sector (NGOs) meet a lot of older adults in their daily activities, including those who do not regularly visit healthcare. Therefore, the resources of the NGOs should be utilized better in fall prevention.  

Objective and actions: What was the purpose and what we offered? 

The main objective of KaatumisSeula® project was to create local models for fall risk screening and implementing evidence-based preventive measures. The models were based on cooperation between the local healthcare sector and NGOs while considering local circumstances and resources. 

The philosophy of the created fall prevention models rested on the broadly offered screening of fall risk and individually tailored preventive measures according to the individual risk score. 

Primary risk screening was offered to older people by health care sector and NGOs. Especially NGOs used the self-rated fall risk screening tool developed in this project. 

Potentially high risk people according to primary risk screening were referred to comprehensive assessment of individual fall risk and tailored implementation of preventive measures by educated health care professionals. This approach is based on the multifactorial Chaos Falls Clinic Study (Effectiveness of the Chaos Falls Clinic in preventing falls and injuries of home-dwelling older adults: a randomised controlled trial – PubMed ( 

NGOs played a central role not only in screening but also in informing about fall prevention measures and offering accessible balance and strength training sessions for those at low risk. Exercise, especially combined balance and strength training, is considered the most effective single intervention in fall prevention and is therefore the most important preventive measure in terms of the primary prevention. 

Results: How did it work? 

Two different local models for fall prevention were created during the project. 

NGOs were active and keen in their role. In addition to five national associations, 27 local NGOs were involved in two municipalities and their neighboring areas. 

Self-rated fall risk assessment tool was created as a screening tool for NGOs. In addition,  educational materials were produced primarily for helping NGOs to inform evidence-based fall preventive measures. Over 57,000 flyers and other materials were delivered and thousands of self-rated fall risk assessments were completed during the 3-year project. 

Health care and physical activity professionals and NGOs received education. Also older adults were offered easily achievable information sessions. Almost 5,000 people attended the local information and education sessions. 

Falls clinics helped those at high risk of falling. During the project, two Falls Clinics started and 439 older adults found their ways to the multifactorial fall risk assessment. More than every third was found to be at high fall risk. Tailored fall prevention measures lowered the fall risk score by 22% among those with one follow-up visit and by 27% among those with two follow-up visits. 

What are we doing now? 

All the produced tools and other materials in Finnish, Swedish and English are freely available at the project website 

Other municipalities, areas and NGOs in Finland are encouraged to take advantage of  created models and produced materials, and to implement evidence-based fall prevention measures in their area.


Harri Sievänen  

Researcher Director  


Read more about the project 

   Abstract: Karinkanta S, Kulmala T, Kannus P, Vasankari T, Sievänen H. KAATUMISSEULA®: implementation of evidence-based fall prevention for communities. Innovation in Aging 2017;1(S1):522-523.  

Predictive ability of a self-rated fall risk assessment tool in community-dwelling older women – PubMed ( 

Last updated: 21.9.2023

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