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Spatial analysis of falls in an urban community of Hong Kong.

Lai PC, Low CT, Wong M, Wong WC, Chan MH - Int J Health Geogr (2009)

Bottom Line: The results affirm the multi-factorial nature of falls at specific locations and for selected groups of the population.The combined use of descriptive and spatial analyses can be beneficial to policy makers because different preventive measures can be devised based on the types of environmental risk factors identified.The analyses are also important preludes to establishing research hypotheses for more focused studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. pclai@hkucc.hku.hk

ABSTRACT

Background: Falls are an issue of great public health concern. This study focuses on outdoor falls within an urban community in Hong Kong. Urban environmental hazards are often place-specific and dependent upon the built features, landscape characteristics, and habitual activities. Therefore, falls must be examined with respect to local situations.

Results: This paper uses spatial analysis methods to map fall occurrences and examine possible environmental attributes of falls in an urban community of Hong Kong. The Nearest neighbour hierarchical (Nnh) and Standard Deviational Ellipse (SDE) techniques can offer additional insights about the circumstances and environmental factors that contribute to falls. The results affirm the multi-factorial nature of falls at specific locations and for selected groups of the population.

Conclusion: The techniques to detect hot spots of falls yield meaningful results that enable the identification of high risk locations. The combined use of descriptive and spatial analyses can be beneficial to policy makers because different preventive measures can be devised based on the types of environmental risk factors identified. The analyses are also important preludes to establishing research hypotheses for more focused studies.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Spatial spread of falls by non-spatial characteristics (II).
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Figure 5: Spatial spread of falls by non-spatial characteristics (II).

Mentions: Similar to Figure 4, The Nnh clusters and SDEs in Figure 5 reveal environmental characteristics of the fall hot spots from the spatial distributional patterns. Figure 5a and Figure 5b collectively show that fall hot spots had a spatial-temporal dimension. Figure 5a shows that four of the six hot spots involving the elderly occurred on weekdays. Figure 5b however highlights daytime versus nighttime hot spots of falls. Interestingly, Figure 5c and Figure 5d when compared against Figure 4b unveils the fact that elderly falls happened mostly while walking without assistive device. While most individuals ended up with minor injury without the need to stay in the ward as illustrated in Figure 5e and Figure 5f, one of the hot spots involving the elderly actually did register an unusually high incidence of serious injury.


Spatial analysis of falls in an urban community of Hong Kong.

Lai PC, Low CT, Wong M, Wong WC, Chan MH - Int J Health Geogr (2009)

Spatial spread of falls by non-spatial characteristics (II).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2666650&req=5

Figure 5: Spatial spread of falls by non-spatial characteristics (II).
Mentions: Similar to Figure 4, The Nnh clusters and SDEs in Figure 5 reveal environmental characteristics of the fall hot spots from the spatial distributional patterns. Figure 5a and Figure 5b collectively show that fall hot spots had a spatial-temporal dimension. Figure 5a shows that four of the six hot spots involving the elderly occurred on weekdays. Figure 5b however highlights daytime versus nighttime hot spots of falls. Interestingly, Figure 5c and Figure 5d when compared against Figure 4b unveils the fact that elderly falls happened mostly while walking without assistive device. While most individuals ended up with minor injury without the need to stay in the ward as illustrated in Figure 5e and Figure 5f, one of the hot spots involving the elderly actually did register an unusually high incidence of serious injury.

Bottom Line: The results affirm the multi-factorial nature of falls at specific locations and for selected groups of the population.The combined use of descriptive and spatial analyses can be beneficial to policy makers because different preventive measures can be devised based on the types of environmental risk factors identified.The analyses are also important preludes to establishing research hypotheses for more focused studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. pclai@hkucc.hku.hk

ABSTRACT

Background: Falls are an issue of great public health concern. This study focuses on outdoor falls within an urban community in Hong Kong. Urban environmental hazards are often place-specific and dependent upon the built features, landscape characteristics, and habitual activities. Therefore, falls must be examined with respect to local situations.

Results: This paper uses spatial analysis methods to map fall occurrences and examine possible environmental attributes of falls in an urban community of Hong Kong. The Nearest neighbour hierarchical (Nnh) and Standard Deviational Ellipse (SDE) techniques can offer additional insights about the circumstances and environmental factors that contribute to falls. The results affirm the multi-factorial nature of falls at specific locations and for selected groups of the population.

Conclusion: The techniques to detect hot spots of falls yield meaningful results that enable the identification of high risk locations. The combined use of descriptive and spatial analyses can be beneficial to policy makers because different preventive measures can be devised based on the types of environmental risk factors identified. The analyses are also important preludes to establishing research hypotheses for more focused studies.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus