Programs and place: Risk and asset mapping for fall prevention

Matthew Lee Smith, Samuel D. Towne, Audry S. Motlagh, Donald R. Smith, Ali Boolani, Scott A. Horel, Marcia G. Ory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identifying ways to measure access, availability, and utilization of health-care services, relative to at-risk areas or populations, is critical in providing practical and actionable information to key stakeholders. This study identified the prevalence and geospatial distribution of fall-related emergency medical services (EMS) calls in relation to the delivery of an evidence-based fall prevention program in Tarrant County, Texas over a 3-year time period. It aims to educate public health professionals and EMS first respondents about the application of geographic information system programs to identify risk-related "hot spots," service gaps, and community assets to reduce falls among older adults. On average, 96.09 (±108.65) calls were received per ZIP Code (ranging from 0 calls to 386 calls). On average, EMS calls per ZIP Code increased from 30.80 (±34.70) calls in 2009 to 33.75 (±39.58) calls in 2011, which indicate a modest annual call increase over the 3-year study period. The percent of ZIP Codes offering A Matter of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader Model (AMOB/VLL) workshops increased from 27.3% in 2009 to 34.5% in 2011. On average, AMOB/VLL workshops were offered in ZIP Codes with more fall-related EMS calls over the 3-year study period. Findings suggest that the study community was providing evidence-based fall prevention programming (AMOB/VLL workshops) in higher-risk areas. Opportunities for strategic service expansion were revealed through the identification of fall-related hot spots and asset mapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - Mar 16 2017


  • Asset mapping
  • Fall prevention
  • Older adults
  • Risk assessment
  • Strategic planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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