Published: 30-05-2023 09:53 | Updated: 30-05-2023 09:56

New thesis about predicting injurious falls in older adults

Hi Nathalie Frisendahl, PhD student at the Division of Physiotherapy. On June 16 you will defend your thesis ”Injurious falls in older adults: early identification of individuals at risk of falls—from observational studies to implementation”, what is the main focus of the thesis?

Nathalie Frisendahl, PhD student, Division of Physiotherapy, NVS.
Nathalie Frisendahl, PhD student, Division of Physiotherapy, NVS. Photo: Private.

Falls are a common and serious problem experienced by one third of community-living adults older than 65 years each year. Falls and fall-related injuries are a major public health concern associated with subsequent morbidity, disability, hospitalization, institutionalization, and mortality.

There is a lack of easy-to-use tools that can predict the onset of first-time injurious falls in older adults. This thesis aims to contribute to this field of knowledge by making it possible to detect community-living older adults at a high risk of suffering an injurious fall. This thesis also aims to explore barriers and facilitators for the implementation process, as well as knowledge translation of the First-time Injurious Fall (FIF) screening tool into clinical practice.

Which are the most important results?   

The main results suggest that FIF tool has the ability to predict a fall with a high precision, five years in advance and that the FIF tool works well in clinical practice and public health with both patients and healthcare professionals.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health? 

Considering the consequences and increased risk of recurrent falls after a first injurious fall, the perspective of being able to prevent or delay a first-time fall, will help to lower the total number of falls in the entire population.   

What’s in the future for you? Will you continue to conduct research?

I wish to continue my work with research as I find I exciting and inspiring. I feel that it’s amazing to work in a place where you always learn something new. I would also like to start working with education in some way.


Nathalie Frisendahl Postdoctoral Researcher