A European survey of older peoples’ preferences, and perceived barriers and facilitators to inform development of a medication-related fall-prevention patient portal

K.J. Ploegmakers, A.J. Linn, Stephanie Medlock, L.J. Seppala, G Bahat, M. A Caballero-Mora, M. A, F Ilhan, L.T. Madus, Y Morrissey, Y Ryg, E Topinkova, Nathalie van der Velde, J.C.M. van Weert, M. A. Caballero-Mora, B. Ilhan, F. Landi, T. Masud, J. Ryg

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Purpose: Falls are a major and growing health care problem in older adults. A patient portal has the potential to provide older adults with fall-prevention advice to reduce fall-risk. However, to date, the needs and preferences regarding a patient portal in older people who have experienced falls have not been explored. This study assesses content preferences, potential barriers and facilitators with regard to using a patient portal, as perceived by older people who have experienced falls, and explores regional differences between European participants. Methods: We conducted a survey of older adults attending an outpatient clinic due to a fall or fall-related injury, to explore their content preferences, perceived barriers, and facilitators with respect to a fall-prevention patient portal. Older adults (N = 121, 69.4% female, mean age: 77.9) were recruited from seven European countries. Results: Almost two-thirds of respondents indicated they would use a fall-prevention patient portal. The portal would preferably include information on Fall-Risk-Increasing Drugs (FRIDs), and ways to manage other related/relevant medical conditions. Facilitators included a user-friendly portal, with easily accessible information and physician recommendations to use the portal. The most-commonly-selected barriers were privacy issues and usage fees. A family member’s recommendation to use the portal was seemingly more important for Southern and Eastern European participants compared to the other regions. Conclusion: The majority of older people with lived falls experience expressed an interest in a fall-prevention patient portal providing personalized treatment advice to prevent further falls. The results will be used to inform the development of a fall-prevention patient portal. The fall-prevention patient portal is intended to be used in addition to a consultation with a physician. Future research is needed to explore how to prevent falls in older patients who are not interested in a fall-prevention patient portal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Early online date8 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2024


  • Barriers
  • Facilitators
  • Falls prevention
  • Older people
  • Patient Portal

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