• Journal Article

Interventions for the prevention of falls in older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials

Citation

Chang, J. T., Morton, S., Rubenstein, L. Z., Mojica, W. A., Maglione, M., Suttorp, M. J., ... Shekelle, P. G. (2004). Interventions for the prevention of falls in older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 328(7441), 680-687.

Abstract

Objective To assess the relative effectiveness of interventions to prevent falls in older adults to either a usual care group or control group. Design Systematic review and meta-analyses. Data sources Medline, HealthSTAR, Embase, the Cochrane Library, other health related databases, and the reference lists from review articles and systematic reviews. Data extraction Components of falls intervention: multifactorial falls risk assessment with management programme, exercise, environmental modifications, or education. Results 40 trials were identified. A random effects analysis combining trials with risk ratio data showed a reduction in the risk of falling (risk ratio 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 0.95), whereas combining trials with incidence rate data showed a reduction in the monthly rate of failing (incidence rate ratio 0.80, 0.72 to 0.88). The effect of individual components was assessed by meta-regression. A multifactorial falls risk assessment and management programme was the most effective component on risk of falling (0.82,0.72 to 0.94, number needed to treat 11) and monthly fall rate (0.63, 0.49 to 0.83; 11.8 fewer falls in treatment group per 100 patients per month). Exercise interventions also had a beneficial effect on the risk of falling (0.86, 0.75 to 0.99, number needed to treat 16) and monthly fall rate (0.86, 0.73 to 1.01; 2.7). Conclusions Interventions to prevent falls in older adults are effective in reducing both the risk of falling and the monthly rate of falling. The most effective intervention was a multifactorial falls risk assessment and management programme. Exercise programmes were also effective in reducing the risk of falling