DEFINED: DEtermining Falls burden to INform carE Delivery


Falls in later life are the most frequent reason for older people to present to acute care, and significantly increase the likelihood of adverse health outcomes. Many falls are potentially preventable however, with comprehensive falls care reducing the rate of further falls by 20%. Unfortunately, due to the fragmented nature of falls care in Ireland, many older people cannot access the care they require after a fall. 


DEFINED (DEtermining Falls burden to INform carE Delivery) will outline current and future requirement for falls care amongst people ≥70 years in Ireland and demonstrate how appropriate access to falls care may address this clinical need. 


A dedicated falls strategy would significantly reduce future falls amongst older people and disrupt the domino effect of adverse health outcomes seen after a fall. 


  • Establish current demand for falls care and assess if this demand is being met. 
  • Examine the relationship between falls and subsequent health trajectories with a focus on further falls, healthcare use and well-being. 
  • Outline the need for falls care projected over 20 years as we see further increases in the ageing population. 
  • Examine how a dedicated falls strategy could modify future falls burden and adverse health trajectories after falling. 


Data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing and publicly available data from the Central Statistics Office and Health and Service Executive will be used. Longitudinal data analytic techniques will be used to describe prospective associations between falls and subsequent outcomes of interest. A dynamic microsimulation model employing competing risks analysis will estimate future transition probabilities of TILDA participants to falls/falls-related outcomes. 


DEFINED has considerable potential to inform policy regarding falls care, to provide impetus for a national falls strategy and ultimately lead to tangible improvements in how we care for older people with falls in Ireland. 

Award Date
22 September 2023
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Robert Briggs
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
HRB Postdoctoral Fellowships: CSF 2023