Examination of sustainability indicators for fall prevention strategies in three states

Matthew Lee Smith, Nicholas K. Durrett, Ellen C. Schneider, Imani N. Byers, Tiffany E. Shubert, Ashley D. Wilson, Samuel D. Towne, Marcia G. Ory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With 1-in-4 older adults suffering a fall each year, fall prevention efforts have emerged as a public health priority. Multi-level, evidence-based fall prevention programs have been promoted by the CDC and other government agencies. To ensure participants and communities receive programs’ intended benefits, organizations must repeatedly deliver the programs over time and plan for program sustainability as part of 'scaling up’ the initiative. The State Falls Prevention Project (SFPP) began in 2011 when the CDC provided 5 years of funding to State Departments of Health in Colorado, New York, and Oregon to simultaneously implement four fall prevention strategies: 1) Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance; 2) Stepping On; 3) Otago Exercise Program; and 4) STEADI (STopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) toolkit. Surveys were performed to examine systems change and perceptions about sustainability across states. The purposes of this study were to: 1) examine how funding influenced the capacity for program implementation and sustainability within the SFPP; and 2) assess reported Program Sustainability Assessment Tool (PSAT) scores to learn about how best to sustain fall preventing efforts after funding ends. Data showed that more organizations offered evidence-based fall prevention programs in participants’ service areas with funding, and the importance of programming implementation, evaluation, and reporting efforts were likely to diminish once funding concluded. Participants’ reported PSAT scores about perceived sustainability capacity did not directly align with previously reported perceptions about PSAT domain importance or modifiability. Findings suggest the importance of grantees to identify potential barriers and enablers influencing program sustainability during the planning phase of the programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Evidence-based programs
  • Fall prevention
  • Multi-level community programs
  • Older adults
  • Program Sustainability Assessment Tool
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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