Community Prevention Program Reduces Falls Over 12 Months

Incidence rates lower in older individuals using service than those receiving standard care
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive community fall prevention program may lower the number of falls and improve clinical outcomes in older individuals at high risk for falls, according to a study published online May 11 in BMJ.

Philippa A. Logan, Ph.D., of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated 204 individuals, older than 60 years of age and living at home or in residential care, who had fallen and called emergency services but were not taken to the hospital. The researchers randomized individuals to either an intervention group that was referred to community fall prevention services or a control group that underwent standard medical and social care.

The researchers found that the incidence rate of falls per year was lower in the intervention group than the control group (3.46 versus 7.68). At 12-month follow-up, the individuals in the intervention group had lower scores on the falls efficacy scale and higher scores on the Barthel index and Nottingham extended activities of daily living scale, compared to the control group.

"Logan and colleagues' intervention showed a significant benefit in people at high risk of falls, but the challenge is how to enable ongoing referral and take-up in practice," the author of an accompanying editorial writes. "Further studies are needed to assess the barriers and facilitators to implementing falls prevention programs in the community, and how to make these programs sustainable."

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