Navigation Links
Prevention Program Spares Seniors More Falls
Date:5/12/2010

Cost of such intense intervention still a question mark, experts note

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals who had fallen and then taken part in an intensive program to prevent falls were much less likely to fall again, a new study shows.

But proving something works is often a far cry from actually seeing it implemented, one expert noted.

"People have been proposing intervention programs like this for a long time," said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health and senior research scientist at the Center on Aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "We know that they work. The question is how much all of this costs," he added.

"The bottom line is it's sort of an elite intervention program that's likely to be very expensive," Olshansky said. "The entire older population is at risk for falls, so how would you implement a program like this? Having said that, it is very interesting they suggested it also improved activities of daily living, which is a good sign. Other normal functioning of these individuals improved as a result of the intervention."

The study authors, from the University of Nottingham in England, noted that this type of intervention is already provided in many places in the United Kingdom.

"The cost implications of our research are speculative as we have not yet completed an economic evaluation . . . but we would hope that a reduction in falls could lead to maintenance of independence in activities of daily living, and therefore people not needing extra home care costs," said study author Philippa Logan, postdoctoral researcher and occupational therapist at the School of Community Health Sciences at Nottingham. "We need to complete a larger study to see if there is an effect on the numbers of fractures, so we cannot say at this time that the intervention will reduce hospital days or surgery time."

"It would be wonderful if we could implement this, but I'm afraid in the U.S. we spend a lot of money on things so if someone falls and calls an ambulance, the person goes to the emergency room, [and] the emergency room charges the government for the fee," said Dr. Bernard Roos, director of geriatric research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Miami VA Hospital. "Nobody in the emergency room sends a person to evaluate the risk of falling so the patient keeps coming back. This is a wonderful model for what we should be doing."

"Studies like this support the need for evidence-based education classes for community-dwelling seniors," said Matthew Smith, an assistant professor with Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health in College Station, Texas.

According to background information in the study, which was published online May 12 in BMJ, 25 percent of people aged 70 and over and 50 percent of those aged 80 and over fall every year. And these people will frequently fall again, leading to life-threatening injuries.

Although ambulances are often called, many individuals who have fallen aren't actually taken to a hospital, the study authors stated.

For this study, 204 adults who were over 60 and who had called an ambulance after a fall but had not been taken to the hospital were randomly assigned to one of two groups.

The first group had access to specialists who helped them build strength and balance, and who offered suggestions for making their homes safer.

The second group of people "were advised by letter to use existing social and medical services as usual," the authors wrote.

According to diaries kept by the participants and follow-up contact over one year, "the incidence rates of falls per year were 3.46 in the intervention group and 7.68 in the control group," the study authors reported.

This amounted to a 55 percent decline in the rate of falls in the support group, a larger effect than seen in previous research, the authors stated.

People receiving the extra care and support also improved on measures of daily living (such as bathing, dressing and eating) and were less anxious about falling again.

Not surprisingly, people who fell less often were also less likely to call an ambulance and less likely to suffer fractures.

One question not addressed by the study authors was the extremely high mortality rate in both groups -- about 15 percent, Olshansky pointed out.

The probability of an average 80-year-old dying in the United Kingdom is about 5.5 percent for a single year, said Olshansky, citing data from a national life table for the United Kingdom. For an average 70-year-old, it is about 1.9 percent.

"Why are at least three times more people dying than expected? That's very odd," he said.

More information

For advice on preventing falls, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Philippa Logan, postdoctoral researcher and occupational therapist at the School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, U.K.; S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D., professor, public health, and senior research scientist, Center on Aging, University of Illinois at Chicago; Bernard Roos, M.D., director, geriatric research, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Miami VA Hospital; Matthew Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, College Station, Texas; May 12, 2010, BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Targeted prevention stopped spread of H1N1 at Alabama boys camp
2. University of Maryland chemist receives Astellas Award for blindness prevention research
3. New study shows effectiveness of MEND program in prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity
4. TFAH Praises Presidents Budget for Consistent Commitment to Public Health and Prevention
5. International Community Calls for Prevention of Further Trauma in Haiti
6. The Kathleen Show Teams Up With National Health Advocates to Launch Prevention Not Prescriptions Tuesdays
7. States Slash Funding for Tobacco Prevention Programs
8. The North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF)* Honors Hospitals that Excel in the Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
9. Beer Ingredient Eyed in Prostate Cancer Prevention
10. The Tech-Aid Institute Releases HIV/AIDS Prevention Software for Women with Intellectual Disabilities
11. Study shows how gene action may lead to diabetes prevention, cure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with ... X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color ... users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. ... way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- MedSource announced today that it has selected Datatrial,s ... choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment to ... by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture (EDC) ... the EDC platform of choice in exchange for ... long been a preferred EDC platform by our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released ... failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug ... only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ... will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. ... cap sales considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: