Assoc Prof Kim Delbaere

Session Title:

Hallmarks and new frontiers in falls research - an applied neuroscience perspective

Learning Outcomes:
At least one third of people aged 65 years and over fall once or more annually. Falls can result in fractures and other injuries, disability and fear and can trigger a decline in physical function and loss of independence and autonomy. While falls are not a diagnostic category, they are often indicative of underlying problems due to age-related changes in physical, affective and cognitive domains. Many intervention programs have been established and evaluated to reduce the incidence of falls in community-dwelling older people. Successful interventions have included exercise training, medication management, vitamin D supplements, podiatric care, visual and home safety interventions and multifactorial interventions.

This talk will discuss:

  • Epidemiology and risk factors for falls in older people across physical, affective and cognitive domains
  • Various effective interventions to prevent falls in older people: research update
  • Promising approaches for assessing fall risk and improving the effectiveness of fall prevention programs in the community, using self-management strategies and technology to optimize the delivery system and maximise adhere



Kim DelbaereAssociate Professor Kim Delbaere is a Principal Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), a major research facility dedicated to both fundamental and clinical neuroscience research, and Associate Professor at University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is a leading international researcher in the area of accidental falls in older people.

In her research career, A/Prof Delbaere has published 129+ peer-reviewed publications in top ranking “gerontology-geriatrics” and “general medicine” journals (e.g. BMJ, COCHRANE). Her papers have been cited over 5,500 times in the scientific literature. Because of the relevance of her work to the wider community, she receives regular invitations to write articles for industry magazines and other mainstream magazines.

She has a strong record of achievement in translational health and medical research. A/Prof Delbaere is CIA on a NHMRC partnership grant with NSW Health, and lead Associate Investigator on a NSW Translational Research Grant Scheme Application Prequalification Scheme (pending).

In 2012, A/Prof Delbaere started her own research group at NeuRA. Her program of research is aimed at examining the underlying mechanisms by which interventions may prevent falls in older people.

A/Prof Delbaere has received numerous awards, such as two prestigious NHMRC Achievement Awards for top ranked career development fellowship (category: Industry) and a UNSW Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Rising Star award.