Falls DiaryFalls diaries can include
- An individual community dweller in the at risk group keeping a diary
- Aged care institutions and hospitals keeping a diarised summary of falls.
Falls diaries can be utilised for community dwelling at risk populations eg the elderly with comorbidities, people with Parkinsons disease persons, MS, post CVA, MND, Macular degeneration. These conditions may cause impairments such as muscle weakness, impaired cognition, sensorimotor dysfunction, and balance and mobility problems.
Falls diaries are an ideal way to gather information about the frequency of falls and the circumstances in which the fall occurred. Falls Diaries are one way of recording fall frequency and the surrounding circumstances; completing them encourages recall, identifies the key circumstances surrounding falls.and their content focuses intervention.  It is widely believed that approximately one-third of elderly people fall annually. People with neurological conditions also fall frequently and stroke is one of the greatest risk factors. If we can identify the reasons for an individuals falls we are better able to target specific strategies for falls prevention and individualised therapy for falls prevention.
The monthly calendar approach detects more falls, and with better accuracy, than telephone recall of falls or recall to a third person.
The information in a falls diary at a minimum would include: Date/Time of fall; Location of fall; What caused the fall; Type of injury sustained; Action taken.
Institutional Care/ Hospital Recordings
Hospitals also make use of falls diaries but these are recorded by staff not the individual faller. These typically contain the following information at a minimum.
- The fact that the incident being reported was a fall.
- The patient in whom the fall occurred.
- The date the fall occurred.
- The unit the patient was assigned to at the time of the fall.
- The location of the fall.
- A detailed report about the circumstances of the fall.
- The level of injury, if any.
- Ashburn A, Stack E, Ballinger C, Fazakarley L, Fitton C. The circumstances of falls among people with Parkinson's and the use of Falls Diaries to facilitate reporting. Disability and rehabilitation. 2008 Jan 1;30(16):1205-12. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18608387 (last accessed 3.5.2019)
- Hannan MT, Gagnon MM, Aneja J, Jones RN, Cupples LA, Lipsitz LA, Samelson EJ, Leveille SG, Kiel DP. Optimizing the tracking of falls in studies of older participants: comparison of quarterly telephone recall with monthly falls calendars in the MOBILIZE Boston Study. American journal of epidemiology. 2010 Apr 1;171(9):1031-6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2877474/ (last accessed 3.5.2019)