Using video capture to investigate the causes of falls in long-term care

Ryan Woolrych*, Aleksandra Zecevic, Andrew Sixsmith, Joanie Sims-Gould, Fabio Feldman, Habib Chaudhury, Bobbi Symes, Stephen N. Robinovitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Falls and their associated injuries represent a significant cost and care burden in long-term care (LTC) settings. The evidence base for how and why falls occur in LTC, and for the design of effective interventions, is weakened by the absence of objective data collected on falls. Design and Methods: In this article, we reflect on the potential utility of video footage in fall investigations. In particular, we report on findings from a Canadian Institute for Health Research-funded research project entitled "Technology for Injury Prevention in Seniors," detailing 4 distinct methodological approaches where video footage of real-life falls was used to assist in identifying the circumstances and contributory factors of fall events in LTC: questionnaire-driven observational group analysis; videostimulated recall interviews and focus groups; video observations of the resident 24 hr before the fall; and video incorporated within a comprehensive systemic falls investigative method. Results and Implications: We describe various ways in which video footage offers potential for both care providers and researchers to help understand the cause and prevention of falls in LTC. We also discuss the limitations of using video in fall investigations, including the logistical, practical, and ethical concerns arising from such an approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-494
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Falls
  • Long-term care
  • Video

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology


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