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

John T. Chang, Sally C. Morton, Laurence Z. Rubenstein, Walter A. Mojica, Margaret Maglione, Marika J. Suttorp, Elizabeth A. Roth, Paul G. Shekelle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

806 Scopus citations

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 falling (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, .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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-683
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Volume328
Issue number7441
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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