Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE) was set up as a thematic network with 25 partners focusing on the issue of prevention of falls and improvement of postural stability amongst elderly people. ProFaNE was originally funded as a Thematic Network, by the 5th Framework Life Quality Programme of the European Commission from Jan 2003 to Dec 2006. The work of ProFaNE was practical. ProFaNE comprised 4 workpackages, with an overall Co-ordinating Centre and aimed to bring together workers from around Europe to focus on a series of tasks required to develop multi-factorial prevention programmes aimed at reducing the incidence of falls and fractures amongst elderly people.
- Taxonomy and Classification
- Clinical Assessment and Management
- Assessment of Balance Function
- Psychological Aspects of Falling
ProFaNE Objectives and Description of Work
These objectives and description of work formed the original ProFaNE Thematic Networks Aims.
ProFaNE focuses and co-ordinates ongoing European clinical, research and technology developments related to prevention of falls amongst elderly people. Scientists, clinicians and SME from diverse fields work in 4 work-packages: Co-ordination and consultation of future fall prevention intervention trials, Clinical assessment and management, Assessment of balance function and prediction of falls, Psychological aspects of falling. The 4 work-packages are linked horizontally to permit synergy and achieve major progress in understanding. The collaboration will: bring together trialists, co-ordinate a taxonomy, identify a core data set, build capacity, develop practical clinical protocols, collaborate to agree and share measures, and facilitate centres to valid balance assessments, develop a shared understanding of psychological sequellae of falling and psychological mechanisms which facilitate prevention interventions. Co-ordinate developments in Quality of Life measurement and distribution of self test measures for older people. ProFaNE will disseminate knowledge and skills widely.
Description of Work:
The ultimate aim of ProFaNE is to increase knowledge and capacity so as to reduce falls amongst older people, by the implementation of evidence based intervention. Each work package will work by convening workshops, undertaking personnel exchanges, transferring technology and knowledge, setting up collaboration for future studies, sharing data and working to develop evidence based protocols and other documents which represent state of the art statements on the topic area. As appropriate work packages will then enable joint work to further the specific aims and objectives of the work package. Centralised co-ordination will ensure that there is horizontal integration of work packages. The essence of our method is to engender joint working across national barriers, disciplines, specialities and sites to build a critical mass of scientists and clinicians focusing on one area. This will be facilitated in two ways. By selected members attending workshops from other work packages. By the use of a web based project management system maintained by the co-ordinating centre, which will provide both a communication medium within the network and a user-friendly window for the outside world to access the work of ProFaNE (in a controlled way). ProFaNE as a network will meet on two occasions to share and report on its work. A number of observers and Non-Governmental Organisations will be invited to meetings so as to learn from our progress and roll out our conclusions, recommendations and protocols. We will also seek specialist advice from experts not in the network as appropriate. ProFaNE is a 48 month project that commenced in January 2003.