Community-based interventions usually involve a number of different strategies and activities aimed at creating changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and skills that influence health. One of the unique features of these approaches is that they typically include strategies to create change in individuals and families as well as efforts to change organizational and environmental factors and policies that influence behavior and health. These interventions are designed to prevent injuries from falls through activities to increase awareness (e.g., knowledge of risk factors for falling), healthy behaviors (e.g., taking safety precautions, seeking regular medication counseling, physical activity), and changes to the environment (e.g., installing window guards, handrails, or safety gates).
Community-based interventions include strategies that are implemented in a variety of places with a variety of partners including:
- Metropolitan areas
- Community centers
- Assisted living facilities
- Parks and recreation facilities
- Health departments
- Schools and day care centers
- Individuals’ homes
Previous work in community-based settings has found:
- Community-based programs to reduce injury from falls can reach populations that may not be reached in other settings.
- Community-based campaigns are able to reach a large population of parents to encourage the usage of window guards.
- Community-based campaigns to discourage the use of infant walkers are widespread and reach a large audience of parents, through malls, libraries and baby product retailers.
- Community and leisure time settings for injury prevention education can provide support, motivation, and reinforcement for behavior change (e.g., wearing a helmet) that is learned in other settings.
- Retirement villages can incorporate exercise activities into their social events to reduce injury from falls among the older residents.
- Day care centers have an abundance of children and can provide direct messages to parents regarding the safety of their children.
- It is important to establish legitimacy for injury from falls intervention in the community as a community project and not an experiment.