Tobias Luck 1 , 2 , Tom Motzek 3 , Melanie Luppa 1 , Herbert Matschinger 1 , Steffen Fleischer 4 , Yves Sesselmann 4 , Gudrun Roling 5 , Katrin Beutner 4 , Hans-Helmut König 6 , Johann Behrens 4 , Steffi G Riedel-Heller 1
12 June 2013
Falls in older people are a major public health issue, but the underlying causes are complex. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive home visits as a multifactorial, individualized strategy to reduce falls in community-dwelling older people.
Data were derived from a prospective randomized controlled trial with follow-up examination after 18 months. Two hundred and thirty participants (≥80 years of age) with functional impairment were randomized to intervention and control groups. The intervention group received up to three preventive home visits including risk assessment, home counseling intervention, and a booster session. The control group received no preventive home visits. Structured interviews at baseline and follow-up provided information concerning falls in both study groups. Random-effects Poisson regression evaluated the effect of preventive home visits on the number of falls controlling for covariates.
Random-effects Poisson regression showed a significant increase in the number of falls between baseline and follow-up in the control group (incidence rate ratio 1.96) and a significant decrease in the intervention group (incidence rate ratio 0.63) controlling for age, sex, family status, level of care, and impairment in activities of daily living.