Category Archives: News

Pain, Balance and Falls in Older Adults Webinar

Webinar – Pain, Balance and Falls In Older Adults

Presented by the ANZFPS Education Sub-Committee

Our presenters have provided some responses for questions that they were unable to be answered during our Q&A Session – you can view them here: Pain Webinar – Additional Q&A responses


Pain as a risk factor for falls – An overview of the literature 

Dr Daina Sturnieks, Neuroscience Research Australia

Community-dwelling older adults with pain are more likely to have fallen in the past 12 months and to fall again in the future. A brief overview of the literature will be provided.

Gait, balance and pain in knee osteoarthritis and its impacts on falls

Professor Pazit Levinger, National Ageing Research Institute

People with knee osteoarthritis often report pain, difficulty performing activities of daily living and present with a range of physical impairments including joint stiffness, muscle weakness, altered proprioception, reduced balance and gait abnormalities. This presentation will overview the common gait and balance impairments seen in people with lower limb osteoarthritis and how they may relate to increase falls risk.

Foot pain, balance and falls in older people

Professor Hylton Menz, La Trobe University

Foot pain affects 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 years and is associated with decreased ability to undertake activities of daily living, problems with balance and gait, and an increased risk of falls. This presentation will provide an overview of (i) the epidemiology of foot pain in older people, (ii) the mechanisms by which foot pain increases the risk of falls, and (iii) interventions targeting foot pain that may reduce the risk of falling.

Interventions to reduce chronic pain—focus on older people

Mr Rodrigo Rizzo, Neuroscience Research Australia

Chronic pain is one of the most common conditions encountered by healthcare professionals among older people. The management of chronic pain in older people must take into account the multiple comorbidities that this population may have (eg. disorders of gait and balance). The risk of falls must be considered for both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in older patients with chronic pain.


 Dr Daina SturnieksDr Daina Sturnieks

Dr Sturnieks has a PhD in human biomechanics (UWA). She is Laboratory Manager for the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at NeuRA. Her research focuses on understanding biomechanical, sensorimotor and neurocognitive contributions to balance and falls in older people and clinical groups, and randomised controlled trials of novel interventions to prevent falls involving balance, stepping and cognitive training. Dr Sturnieks is active in translating research findings into community, aged care and hospital settings and is Executive Board Member of the Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Society.

Pazit LevingerProfessor Pazit Levinger

Professor Levinger is a Senior Researcher (Accredited Exercise Physiologist) at the National Ageing Research Institute. She also holds Honorary positions at the Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre, Monash University and the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University. She has over 15 years experience, skills and expertise in active ageing, physical activity and falls prevention, quantitative gait analysis and clinical biomechanics with the focus on people with osteoarthritis.

Prof Hylton MenzProfessor Hylton B Menz

Professor Hylton Menz is a podiatrist who graduated with first class Honours and the University Medal from La Trobe University in 1993, and completed his PhD focusing on gait patterns, balance and falls at the University of NSW in 2002. He is currently a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Senior Research Fellow. Professor Menz’s broad research disciplines are human movement, rehabilitation and rheumatology, with a particular focus on musculoskeletal foot problems in older people. His research extends from laboratory-based biomechanical studies through to analysis of epidemiological datasets and the conduct of clinical trials.

Mr Rodrigo RizzoMr Rodrigo Rizzo

Rodrigo Rizzo is a Doctoral Candidate at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and University of New South Wales (UNSW). He is a physiotherapist who has worked in the management of chronic pain for over 15 years.

Patient-Oriented Health Economics Virtual Mixer

The University of British Columbia’s Social & Economic Change (SE-Change) laboratory is hosting a virtual Patient-Oriented Health Economics Virtual Mixer with three, 10-minute keynote talks from internationally renowned experts in the field Prof Julie Ratcliffe, Prof Stirling Bryan and Prof Joanna Coast.

A panel discussion relevant to researchers, clinicians, health policy decision-makers and knowledge users will follow.

October 22nd 7.30-8.15AM AEDT

Click here to find out more and register for the event.

Balance Intensity Scale

A research team from the Department of Physiotherapy at Monash University has developed a world-first interval rating of balance exercise intensity, the Balance Intensity Scale (BIS). The BIS is a clinical measurement of balance exercise intensity used to rate exercises performed by adults. The BIS has a component that is rated by clinicians and a component that is rated by the exerciser. It is designed to be used as part of routine clinical care when prescribing balance exercises and can be used for initial assessment, reassessment and on discharge from therapy. The website includes a training video on how to use the scale and an infographic for the exerciser.

For more information go to

Health Economics Webinar Now Available Online

Introduction to Health Economics for Fall Prevention Researchers

Presented by the ANZFPS Early Career Researcher Sub-Committee

Presenters: Dr Alison Pearce & Daniel Treacy

Dr Pearce introduces how Health Economists think, and why that might be interesting and/or useful to fall prevention researchers. Alison gives practical guidance for how to find and work with a Health Economist. Daniel discusses the practical application of health economics using an example from hospital rehabilitation.

 To watch the webinar recorded on Thursday 26th of March 2020 click here.

After watching the webinar, please complete our evaluation survey by clicking here.

Dr Pearce has generously made her slides available. If you use or adapt the information contained, please acknowledge Dr Pearce and the event.

Dr Alison Pearce is a health economist interested in the various costs of cancer, and how people make choices about their health and healthcare. Alison’s research aims to use health services research and health economics to improve cancer care by providing relevant, reliable information for decision making. Currently based at the University of Sydney School of Public Health, Alison teaches introductory health economics and conducts research in the areas of oncology patient preferences and productivity loss. Alison’s research extends the work previously completed at the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE) at UTS, and as a postdoc at the National Cancer Registry in Ireland. Alison’s PhD investigated the costs of chemotherapy side effects at CHERE in 2013, after working in cancer clinical trials and health services research.

Alison’s original training was in occupational therapy, and she remains interested in rehabilitation research. Alison also has keen interests in early career researcher development, communicating research to the public, and the use of social media in academia. When not being an academic Alison enjoys putting economic theories into practice in her small business – Bean Bar You.

Daniel Treacy is the Physiotherapy Advisor for South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and a PhD student through the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health at the University of Sydney. Daniel has previously worked as a rehabilitation Physiotherapist and has a strong interest in improving the function of elderly people both within the hospital and community setting. Daniel’s PhD topic is “Increasing and measuring physical rehabilitation”

Presentations now available – Exercise for falls prevention: How can we have a greater impact on policy and practice?

On Thursday 28th November 2019, the Australia and New Zealand Fall Prevention Society in conjunction with the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health held the seminar – “Exercise for falls prevention: How can we have a greater impact on policy and practice?”

The seminar 85 attendees heard presentations overviewing the current evidence supporting exercise for fall prevention and learnt about systems approaches that acknowledge the complexity of influences on behaviour and outcomes and help us target aspects to change. We were then inspired by examples of policies and programs that have implemented evidence-based interventions in fall prevention and related fields. Three of the presenters even presented remotely without a hitch. All presenters have generously made their presentations available (click links below).

What is the current situation:
Understanding how things could change:
Related stories of policy influence:

Statistics webinar now online!

You can now view the recording from the webinar “Estimating the effect of treatment on people who comply with allocated treatment in randomised controlled trial using CACE (Complier Average Causal Effect)” here. The webinar was presented on the 25th of September 2019 by the ANZFPS Early Career Researcher Sub-Committee.

Prof Rob Herbert provides a brief background on what it means to be a complier, the complier average causal effect (CACE), assumptions needed to estimate the CACE, and approaches to estimating the CACE. Click here to download a pdf of his slides.

Dr. Nicola Fairhall discusses the practical application of CACE analysis using an example from one of her randomised controlled trials. Click here to download a pdf of her slides.

ANZFPS Seminar

You are invited to attend:

“Exercise for falls prevention: how can we have a greater impact on policy and practice?”

When: 28th of November
Time: 9.00am to 12.00pm AEDT
Where: Kerry Packer Education Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, Sydney.

This seminar is jointly hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Fall Prevention Society and the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health.

There is now strong evidence that exercise prevents falls in community-dwelling older adults. Yet a major evidence-practice gap exists.

This session is aimed at researchers, clinicians and policy makers interested in better implementation of exercise for fall prevention.

Please register at the link or by sending an email to :


Call for bids to host ANZFPS 2022 conference

In accordance with bylaws of the Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Society (ANZFPS), bids for hosting the 2022 ANZFPS biennial conference are now open. If you attended the ANZFPS conference in Hobart in 2018 you are deemed an ANZFPS member and are eligible to make a bid. If you wish to do so, send your bid to the ANZFPS Secretary Anna Hatton at

For more information on the bid process, please email either the Secretary Anna Hatton or President Cathie Sherrington

Reminder: The 2020 ANZFPS conference will be held in Auckland, New Zealand.