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      Multifactorial and multiple component interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community

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          Risk factors for falls among elderly persons living in the community.

          To study risk factors for falling, we conducted a one-year prospective investigation, using a sample of 336 persons at least 75 years of age who were living in the community. All subjects underwent detailed clinical evaluation, including standardized measures of mental status, strength, reflexes, balance, and gait; in addition, we inspected their homes for environmental hazards. Falls and their circumstances were identified during bimonthly telephone calls. During one year of follow-up, 108 subjects (32 percent) fell at least once; 24 percent of those who fell had serious injuries and 6 percent had fractures. Predisposing factors for falls were identified in linear-logistic models. The adjusted odds ratio for sedative use was 28.3; for cognitive impairment, 5.0; for disability of the lower extremities, 3.8; for palmomental reflex, 3.0; for abnormalities of balance and gait, 1.9; and for foot problems, 1.8; the lower bounds of the 95 percent confidence intervals were 1 or more for all variables. The risk of falling increased linearly with the number of risk factors, from 8 percent with none to 78 percent with four or more risk factors (P less than 0.0001). About 10 percent of the falls occurred during acute illness, 5 percent during hazardous activity, and 44 percent in the presence of environmental hazards. We conclude that falls among older persons living in the community are common and that a simple clinical assessment can identify the elderly persons who are at the greatest risk of falling.
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            Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community.

            Approximately 30% of people over 65 years of age living in the community fall each year. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2009. To assess the effects of interventions designed to reduce the incidence of falls in older people living in the community. We searched the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register (February 2012), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 3), MEDLINE (1946 to March 2012), EMBASE (1947 to March 2012), CINAHL (1982 to February 2012), and online trial registers. Randomised trials of interventions to reduce falls in community-dwelling older people. Two review authors independently assessed risk of bias and extracted data. We used a rate ratio (RaR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) to compare the rate of falls (e.g. falls per person year) between intervention and control groups. For risk of falling, we used a risk ratio (RR) and 95% CI based on the number of people falling (fallers) in each group. We pooled data where appropriate. We included 159 trials with 79,193 participants. Most trials compared a fall prevention intervention with no intervention or an intervention not expected to reduce falls. The most common interventions tested were exercise as a single intervention (59 trials) and multifactorial programmes (40 trials). Sixty-two per cent (99/159) of trials were at low risk of bias for sequence generation, 60% for attrition bias for falls (66/110), 73% for attrition bias for fallers (96/131), and only 38% (60/159) for allocation concealment.Multiple-component group exercise significantly reduced rate of falls (RaR 0.71, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.82; 16 trials; 3622 participants) and risk of falling (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.76 to 0.96; 22 trials; 5333 participants), as did multiple-component home-based exercise (RaR 0.68, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.80; seven trials; 951 participants and RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.94; six trials; 714 participants). For Tai Chi, the reduction in rate of falls bordered on statistical significance (RaR 0.72, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.00; five trials; 1563 participants) but Tai Chi did significantly reduce risk of falling (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.87; six trials; 1625 participants).Multifactorial interventions, which include individual risk assessment, reduced rate of falls (RaR 0.76, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.86; 19 trials; 9503 participants), but not risk of falling (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.02; 34 trials; 13,617 participants).Overall, vitamin D did not reduce rate of falls (RaR 1.00, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.11; seven trials; 9324 participants) or risk of falling (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.03; 13 trials; 26,747 participants), but may do so in people with lower vitamin D levels before treatment.Home safety assessment and modification interventions were effective in reducing rate of falls (RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.97; six trials; 4208 participants) and risk of falling (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.96; seven trials; 4051 participants). These interventions were more effective in people at higher risk of falling, including those with severe visual impairment. Home safety interventions appear to be more effective when delivered by an occupational therapist.An intervention to treat vision problems (616 participants) resulted in a significant increase in the rate of falls (RaR 1.57, 95% CI 1.19 to 2.06) and risk of falling (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.91). When regular wearers of multifocal glasses (597 participants) were given single lens glasses, all falls and outside falls were significantly reduced in the subgroup that regularly took part in outside activities. Conversely, there was a significant increase in outside falls in intervention group participants who took part in little outside activity.Pacemakers reduced rate of falls in people with carotid sinus hypersensitivity (RaR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.93; three trials; 349 participants) but not risk of falling. First eye cataract surgery in women reduced rate of falls (RaR 0.66, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.95; one trial; 306 participants), but second eye cataract surgery did not.Gradual withdrawal of psychotropic medication reduced rate of falls (RaR 0.34, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.73; one trial; 93 participants), but not risk of falling. A prescribing modification programme for primary care physicians significantly reduced risk of falling (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.91; one trial; 659 participants).An anti-slip shoe device reduced rate of falls in icy conditions (RaR 0.42, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.78; one trial; 109 participants). One trial (305 participants) comparing multifaceted podiatry including foot and ankle exercises with standard podiatry in people with disabling foot pain significantly reduced the rate of falls (RaR 0.64, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.91) but not the risk of falling.There is no evidence of effect for cognitive behavioural interventions on rate of falls (RaR 1.00, 95% CI 0.37 to 2.72; one trial; 120 participants) or risk of falling (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.54; two trials; 350 participants).Trials testing interventions to increase knowledge/educate about fall prevention alone did not significantly reduce the rate of falls (RaR 0.33, 95% CI 0.09 to 1.20; one trial; 45 participants) or risk of falling (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.03; four trials; 2555 participants).No conclusions can be drawn from the 47 trials reporting fall-related fractures.Thirteen trials provided a comprehensive economic evaluation. Three of these indicated cost savings for their interventions during the trial period: home-based exercise in over 80-year-olds, home safety assessment and modification in those with a previous fall, and one multifactorial programme targeting eight specific risk factors. Group and home-based exercise programmes, and home safety interventions reduce rate of falls and risk of falling.Multifactorial assessment and intervention programmes reduce rate of falls but not risk of falling; Tai Chi reduces risk of falling.Overall, vitamin D supplementation does not appear to reduce falls but may be effective in people who have lower vitamin D levels before treatment.
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              Development of a common outcome data set for fall injury prevention trials: the Prevention of Falls Network Europe consensus.

              The prevention of injury associated with falls in older people is a public health target in many countries around the world. Although there is good evidence that interventions such as multifactorial fall prevention and individually prescribed exercise are effective in reducing falls, the effect on serious injury rates is unclear. Historically, trials have not been adequately powered to detect injury endpoints, and variations in case definition across trials have hindered meta-analysis. It is possible that fall-prevention strategies have limited effect on falls that result in injuries or are ineffective in populations who are at a higher risk of injury. Further research is required to determine whether fall-prevention interventions can reduce serious injuries. Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE) is a collaborative project to reduce the burden of fall injury in older people through excellence in research and promotion of best practice ( The European Commission funds the network, which links clinicians, members of the public, and researchers worldwide. The aims are to identify major gaps in knowledge in fall injury prevention and to facilitate the collaboration necessary for large-scale clinical research activity, including clinical trials, comparative research, and prospective meta-analysis. Work is being undertaken in a 4-year program. As a first step, the development of a common set of outcome definitions and measures for future trials or meta-analysis was considered.

                Author and article information

                Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
                July 23 2018
                [1 ]University of Oxford; Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS); Botnar Research Centre, Windmill Road Oxford Oxfordshire UK OX3 7LD
                [2 ]Oxehealth; Biomedical Engineering; The Sadler Building, Oxford Science Park, Oxford Oxford UK OX4 4GE
                [3 ]Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), University of Oxford; Centre for Rehabilitation Research in Oxford (RRIO); Botnar Research Centre, Windmill Road Oxford UK OX3 7LD
                [4 ]School of Public Health, The University of Sydney; Musculoskeletal Health Sydney; PO Box 179 Missenden Road Sydney NSW Australia 2050
                [5 ]The University of Sydney; Faculty of Health Sciences; East St. Lidcombe Lidcombe NSW Australia 1825
                [6 ]Neuroscience Research Australia; Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre; Barker St Randwick Australia NSW 2031
                © 2018


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