Primary Care–Relevant Interventions to Prevent Falling in Older Adults: A Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, 1505 Race Street, 6th Floor, MS 1033, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.81). 12/2010; 153(12):815-25. DOI: 10.1059/0003-4819-153-12-201012210-00008
Source: PubMed


Falls among older adults are both prevalent and preventable.
To describe the benefits and harms of interventions that could be used by primary care practitioners to prevent falling among community-dwelling older adults.
The reviewers evaluated trials from a good-quality systematic review published in 2003 and searched MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and CINAHL from the end of that review's search date to February 2010 to identify additional English-language trials. STUDY SELECTion: Two reviewers independently screened 3423 abstracts and 638 articles to identify randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) of primary care-relevant interventions among community-dwelling older adults that reported falls or fallers as an outcome. Trials were independently critically appraised to include only good- or fair-quality trials; discrepancies were resolved by a third reviewer.
One reviewer abstracted data from 61 articles into standardized evidence tables that were verified by a second reviewer.
Overall, the included evidence was of fair quality. In 16 RCTs evaluating exercise or physical therapy, interventions reduced falling (risk ratio, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.81 to 0.94]). In 9 RCTs of vitamin D supplementation, interventions reduced falling (risk ratio, 0.83 [CI, 0.77 to 0.89]). In 19 trials involving multifactorial assessment and management, interventions with comprehensive management seemed to reduce falling, although overall pooled estimates were not statistically significant (risk ratio, 0.94 [CI, 0.87 to 1.02]). Limited evidence suggested that serious clinical harms were no more common for older adults in intervention groups than for those in control groups. Limitations: Interventions and methods of fall ascertainment were heterogeneous. Data on potential harms of interventions were scant and often not reported.
Primary care-relevant interventions exist that can reduce falling among community-dwelling older adults.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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Available from: Rachel Gold, Oct 06, 2015
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    • "In the next decades a rise in the proportion of people aged 65 years and older is expected [1,2]. Successful independent living in older people can be compromised by a number of key health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and falls [3]. About one third of community-dwelling older people falls at least once a year [4], increasing to half of people aged 80 years and over [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Falls are very common, especially in adults aged 65 years and older. Within the current international European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7) project ‘iStoppFalls’ an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based system has been developed to regularly assess a person’s risk of falling in their own home and to deliver an individual and tailored home-based exercise and education program for fall prevention. The primary aims of iStoppFalls are to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention program, and its effectiveness to improve balance, muscle strength and quality of life in older people. This international, multicenter study is designed as a single-blinded, two-group randomized controlled trial. A total of 160 community-dwelling older people aged 65 years and older will be recruited in Germany (n = 60), Spain (n = 40), and Australia (n = 60) between November 2013 and May 2014. Participants in the intervention group will conduct a 16-week exercise program using the iStoppFalls system through their television set at home. Participants are encouraged to exercise for a total duration of 180 minutes per week. The training program consists of a variety of balance and strength exercises in the form of video games using exergame technology. Educational material about a healthy lifestyle will be provided to each participant. Final reassessments will be conducted after 16 weeks. The assessments include physical and cognitive tests as well as questionnaires assessing health, fear of falling, quality of life and psychosocial determinants. Falls will be followed up for six months by monthly falls calendars. We hypothesize that the regular use of this newly developed ICT-based system for fall prevention at home is feasible for older people. By using the iStoppFalls sensor-based exercise program, older people are expected to improve in balance and strength outcomes. In addition, the exercise training may have a positive impact on quality of life by reducing the risk of falls. Taken together with expected cognitive improvements, the individual approach of the iStoppFalls program may provide an effective model for fall prevention in older people who prefer to exercise at home. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Trial ID: ACTRN12614000096651. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number: ISRCTN15932647.
    BMC Geriatrics 08/2014; 14(1):91. DOI:10.1186/1471-2318-14-91 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    • "These data are based on patients’ self-reporting and thus it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions. However, the finding could strengthen the impression that the recommended supplement dose of vitamin D in Norway (400 IE vitamin D3) is not enough to maintain an adequate level of vitamin D in elderly individuals, and several authors have recommended 800–1000 IE vitamin D3 as a daily supplement for the elderly [6,55,56]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Previous studies have found an association between psychiatric disorders and vitamin D deficiency, but most studies have focused on depression. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in elderly patients with a wider range of psychiatric diagnoses. Method The study included elderly patients (>64 years) referred to a psychiatric hospital in Northern Norway and a control group from a population survey in the same area. An assessment of psychiatric and cognitive symptoms and diagnoses was conducted using the Montgomery and Aasberg Depression Rating Scale, the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, the Mini Mental State Examination, the Clockdrawing Test, and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI+), as well as clinical interviews and a review of medical records. The patients’ mean level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency were compared with those of a control group, and a comparison of vitamin D deficiency across different diagnostic groups was also made. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D <50 nmol/L (<20 ng/ml). Results The mean levels of 25(OH)D in the patient group (n = 95) and the control group (n = 104) were 40.5 nmol/L and 65.9 nmol/L (p < 0.001), respectively. A high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was found in the patient group compared with the control group (71.6% and 20.0%, respectively; p < 0.001). After adjusting for age, gender, season, body mass index, and smoking, vitamin D deficiency was still associated with patient status (OR: 12.95, CI (95%): 6.03-27.83, p < 0.001). No significant differences in the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency were found between patients with different categories of psychiatric diagnoses, such as depression, bipolar disorders, psychosis, and dementia. Conclusion Vitamin D deficiency is very common among psychogeriatric patients, independent of diagnostic category. Even though the role of vitamin D in psychiatric disorders is still not clear, we suggest screening for vitamin D deficiency in this patient group due to the importance of vitamin D for overall health.
    BMC Psychiatry 05/2014; 14(1):134. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-134 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    • "Michael et al. (46) published an SLR on primary-care-relevant interventions on prevention of falling in older adults. It included nine trial of vitamin D supplementation. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present literature review is part of the NNR5 project with the aim of reviewing and updating the scientific basis of the 4th edition of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) issued in 2004. The overall aim was to review recent scientific data on the requirements and health effects of vitamin D and to report it to the NNR5 Working Group, who is responsible for updating the current dietary reference values valid in the Nordic countries. The electronic databases MEDLINE and Swemed were searched. We formulated eight questions which were used for the search. The search terms related to vitamin D status and intake and different health outcomes as well as to the effect of different vitamin D sources on vitamin D status. The search was done in two batches, the first covering January 2000-March 2010 and the second March 2009-February 2011. In the first search, we focused only on systematic literature reviews (SLRs) and in the second on SLRs and randomized control trials (RCTs) published after March 2009. Furthermore, we used snowballing for SLRs and IRCTs published between February 2011 and May 2012. The abstracts as well as the selected full-text papers were evaluated in pairs. We found 1,706 studies in the two searches of which 28 studies were included in our review. We found 7 more by snowballing, thus 35 papers were included in total. Of these studies, 31 were SLRs and 4 were RCTs. The SLRs were generally of good or fair quality, whereas that of the included studies varied from good to poor. The heterogeneity of the studies included in the SLRs was large which made it difficult to interpret the results and provide single summary statements. One factor increasing the heterogeneity is the large variation in the assays used for assessing 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration [25(OH)D], the marker of vitamin D status. The SLRs we have reviewed conclude that the evidence for a protective effect of vitamin D is only conclusive concerning bone health, total mortality and the risk of falling. Moreover, the effect was often only seen in persons with low basal 25(OH)D concentrations. In addition, most intervention studies leading to these conclusions report that intervention with vitamin D combined with calcium and not vitamin D alone gives these benefits. It was difficult to establish an optimal 25(OH)D concentration or vitamin D intake based on the SLRs, but there are evidence that a concentration of ≥50 nmol/l could be optimal. The dose-response studies relating vitamin D intake (fortification and supplementation) to S-25(OH)D suggested that an intake of 1-2.5 µg/day will increase the serum concentration by 1-2 nmol/l but this is dependent on the basal concentration with a response being greater when the basal concentration is low. Data show that a S-25(OH)D concentration of 50 nmol/l would reflect a sufficient vitamin D status. Results from this review support that the recommendation in NNR 2004 needs to be re-evaluated and increased for all age groups beyond 2 years of age. We refer to the total intake from food as well as supplements, given minimal sun exposure. Limited sunshine, however, does not reflect the situation for the majority of the Nordic population in the summertime. It should also be emphasized that there are large differences in results depending on assay methods and laboratories measuring 25(OH)D, adding to the uncertainty of determining an appropriate target concentration. Moreover, the dose-response of vitamin D on serum 25(OH)D-concentrations is not well established and is dependent on the basal concentrations, sunshine exposure and dietary intake. We advise that these uncertainties should be taken into account when setting the final Nordic recommendations.
    Food & Nutrition Research 10/2013; 57. DOI:10.3402/fnr.v57i0.22671 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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