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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 impleme
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