Reflections FFBH2017 Conference

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Reflections on FFBH 2017


Falls Frailty Bone Health Dublin

9th and 10th November 2017


This unique and exciting conference brought together researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals and service providers working in the disciplines of falls, frailty, fractures, osteoporosis,sarcopenia and nutrition. An explicit intention was to enable the ‘cross-fertilisation of ideas’ to address the overarching aim of ‘developing better management strategies for our older patients’ (Masud and Skelton, 2017).


Information advertising the conference can be accessed here.



Day 1

Professors Des O’Neill and Tahir Masud welcomed all the conference delegates and the morning session commenced with presentations on Falls, that included:

  • What’s new in Falls Researchand Service Development by Professor Dawn Skelton (Scotland),

  • Cardiological aspects of falls-an under-recognised problem? by Professor Rose-Anne Kenny (Ireland)

  • Drugs and polypharmacy in relation to falls and frailty by Professor Nathalie van der Velde (Netherlands)

Presentations on Sarcopenia followed next and included:

Diagnosing sarcopenia- Does it add anything? by Professor Avan Sayer (England)

Sarcopenia and nutrition- the way forward by Professor Reto W. Kressig (Switzerland).


After lunch and poster viewing the afternoon commenced with a choice of case based interactive workshops that included Dalcroze Eurythmics and Dual Task Training, Calcium and Vitamin Dupdate, Gait Assessment Made Easy for busy healthcare professionals, or oral abstract presentations.


The afternoon break gave a further opportunity for poster viewing and networking, and this was followed by interactive workshops on inappropriate medications, preventing inpatient falls and fractures, dementia, falls and frailty, and neurovascular instability in osteoporosis.


The final keynote lecture of the day was by Professor Eugene McCloskey (England) on preventing fracture risk- improved by embracing muscle and bone health?



All the above sessions were chaired by leading researchers and questions at the end of sessions provided excellent opportunities to further explore issues at the cutting edge of knowledge in the above fields of enquiry.

The conference dinner followed and involved some lively Irish dancing!


Day 2

This opened with linked presentations on Frailty and Exercise. The issued covered were:

The Frailty Concept- Is it useful? By Professor Alfonso Cruz-Jentoft (Spain)

  • Defining and diagnosing frailty- what’s the best method? By Dr Cappaldi (Italy)

  • Physical activity, exercise and sarcopenia- future challenges By Professor Ellen Freiberger (Germany).


The next session comprised two presentations on Bone Health and Fractures, as follows:

  • The optimal management of osteoporosis by Professor Bo Abrahamsen (Denmark)

  • Developing a comprehensive national approach for falls and fragility fracture reduction, by Professor Finbarr Martin (England and EUGMS).


After lunch, poster viewing and networking, the afternoon sessions focused on a choice of case-based interactive workshops and oral abstract presentations. Topics included hip fracture, frailty and sarcopenia, and the relationship between musculoskeletal health, falls, medication and physical activity in older people with intellectual disabilities, a Dutch and Irish perspective, physical activity and exercise for sarcopenia, frailty, falls and bone health, identification of vertebral fracture, falls risk increasing drugs, or oral abstract presentations on arange of clinical and patient management topics.


The Final keynote sessions gave early and mid-career researchers the opportunity to present their work as follows:

Effects of geriatric interdisciplinary home rehabilitation by Dr Asa Karlsson (Sweden)

Circulation IL-18 is higher in older adults with frailty: the Irish Longitudinal study on Ageing (TILDA) by DrAisling O’Halloran (Ireland).


Professors Masud and Skeltonbrought this remarkable conference to a close and we all congratulated the prize winners of oral and poster presentations.


There are plans to hold a second FFBH conference in 18 months, watch out for the venue to be announced,somewhere in Europe? This is a fast moving field and all the signs are that the next conference will be a ‘must’ for all working in the above research and practice areas.


Grateful thanks to the conference organisers, the conference staff at the venue for their hospitality, the exhibitors,and all the fabulous Irish hosts.


Conference abstracts to be published in a forthcoming edition of a new Falls and Bone Health Journal, information to follow...



M A C Smith 4thDecember 2017



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