Falls Assessment and Prevention: Home, Hospital, and Extended Care

First Edition

Lynn S. Alvord

Details: 192 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 6 x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-120-4

© 2008 | Available


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As Alvord explains in this comprehensive guide to falls prevention, diagnosis, and therapy, more than one-third of adults ages 65 or older fall each year. Among seniors, falls are the underlying cause of a large proportion of fatal traumatic brain injuries. On the positive side, much can be done to prevent injury from falls in the aging population. This book is an ideal guide for clinicians who see patients at risk for falling. It provides complete assessment and treatment plans, incorporating the most recent developments of new balance test equipment and techniques for balance function rehabilitation. The detailed section on assessment covers vestibular, cardiovascular, neurological, rheumatology, metabolic, orthopedic, psychological, cognitive, visual and physical therapy factors. Therapy and prevention chapters cover physical therapy, occupational therapy, and exercise and behavioral modification. A final chapter explains falls prevention programs and clinics. Case studies throughout illustrate successful versus unsuccessful assessment and treatment programs.

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, speaks with Dr. Alvord about about dizziness and vertigo and the medical, behavioral and other causes of falls. Read the interview here.


"This book describes the highly unusual fall clinic at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The clinical coordinator (the author) is an audiologist who also performs vestibular testing, and works in a team with a physician who performs the general medical examination and a physiotherapist who assesses lower limb function and gait... Such multidisciplinary working is a model that is recommended in the Royal College of Physicians working party report - and now here is the book to tell us how to do it... [T]he sections on dizziness and vestibular testing are particularly good and reflect the author's extensive experience. I welcome his advice to practitioners not to hide behind a 'cop-out' diagnosis of multi-factorial when trying to establish the cause of a patient's falls. There may indeed be several reasons, but one should try to prioritize the most important and indeed pay particular attention o those that can be treated. He rightly stresses the importance of the medical assessment in the prevention of falls... [T]his is a book that I would welcome and would recommend to audiologists and audiovestibular physicians wanting to play an active role in the falls clinic and to physicians (usually geriatricians in the UK) and clinical nurse specialists whose experience of vestibular testing may be limited."
P. Overstall, Geriatric Medicine, County Hospital, Hereford, UK, Audiolocial Medicine. 2009; 7: 123 (2009)

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Scope of the Problem - Hope for Solutions
  • Balance and Mobility
  • Why We Fall
  • Dizziness as a Symptom
  • The Falls Clinic and Examination
  • Preventing Falls
  • Falls Prevention in Hospitals and Nursing Facilities
  • Case Studies
  • Appendix A: Suggested Additional Readings on Gait
  • Appendix B: Example Falls Clinic Reports and Sample Blank Forms
  • Appendix C: Safety Checklist
  • Appendix D: Alvord Falls Screening Test
  • Index

Lynn S. Alvord

Dr. Alvord professional career began, having received a degree in chemistry from Weber State University, at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, where he was co-author in research involving transplantation of pancreatic islet cells. Being introduced to the field of audiology by a co-worker, Dr. Alvord received a Ph.D. in audiology at the University of Utah, where he was a Marriner S. Eccles fellow. After working at the Veterans Administration Hospital, VA West Side in Chicago for three years, he returned as a member of the faculty at the University of Utah, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, where he was tenured and achieved the rank of Associate Professor, where he remained for 15 years. He returning to clinical practice as a Senior Staff Audiologist at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, where he is currently directing of the vestibular and falls programs. Dr. Alvord has published many papers and two previous book chapters, focusing primarily in the areas of vestibular assessment and functional imaging of auditory areas of the brain. He has lectured and presented papers at numerous national and international meetings, including teaching assignments in Bolivia and Brazil. He has served in Partners of the Americas, where he hosted numerous visiting physicians from South America, setting up educational experiences in otolaryngology in the United States. He has served as past president of Handtronix, Inc., a manufacturer of hand held audiometers. He is husband to Bonnie Alvord, interior designer, father of four children and musician in his spare time.

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