ABSTRACT: To examine the reported effectiveness of fall-prevention programs for older adults by reviewing randomized controlled trials from 2000 to 2009.
Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
A systematic literature search of articles was conducted using 5 electronic databases (Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and RefWorks), including articles describing interventions designed to prevent falls, in English with full text availability, from 2000 through 2009.
Of a potential 227 studies, we identified 17 randomized controlled trials with a duration of intervention of at least 5 months of follow-up. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to assess the methodological qualities of the studies. We excluded unidentified study design, quasi-experimental studies, and/or studies that were nonspecific regarding inclusion criteria.
Primary outcome measures were number of falls and fall rate. Methodological quality assessment included internal and external validity, reporting, and power. Data were extracted independently by 2 investigators and analyzed using a random-effects model. We analyzed the effectiveness of these fall intervention programs using their risk ratios (RR) in 2 single-intervention versus 15 multifactorial intervention trials, 3 nursing homes versus 14 community randomized controlled trials, and 8 Model 1 (initial intervention with subsequent follow up) versus 9 Model II (ongoing intervention throughout the follow-up) studies.
The combined RR for the number of falls among 17 studies was 0.855 (z = -2.168; p = .030; 95% CI = 0.742-0.985; Q = 196.204, df = 16, P = .000, I(2) = 91.845), demonstrating that fall-prevention programs across the studies were effective by reducing fall rates by 14%, but with substantial heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis indicated that there was a significant fall reduction of 14% in multifactorial intervention (RR = 0.856, z = -2.039, P = .041) with no variation between multifactorial and single-intervention groups (Q = 0.002, P = .961), 55% in the nursing home setting (RR = 0.453, z = -9.366, P = .000) with significant variation between nursing home and community groups (Q = 62.788, P = .000), and no significant effect was gained by dividing studies into either in Model I or II. Sensitivity analysis found homogeneity (Q = 18.582, df = 12, P = .099, I(2) = 35.423) across studies with a 9% overall fall reduction (RR = 0.906, 95% CI = 0.853-0.963, z = -3.179, P = .001), including a fall-reduction rate of 10% in multifactorial intervention (RR = 0.904, z = -3.036, P = .002), 9% in community (RR = 0.909, z = -3.179, P = .001), and 12% in Model I (RR = 0.876, z = -3.534, P = .000) with no variations among all the groups. Meta regression suggested that the model fit explained 68.6% of the relevant variance.
The meta-sensitivity analysis indicates that randomized controlled trials of fall-prevention programs conducted within the past 10 years (2000-2009) are effective in overall reduction of fall rates of 9% with a reduction of fall rates of 10% in multifactorial interventions, 9% in community settings, and 12% in Model I interventions (initial intervention efforts and then subsequent follow-up).
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 06/2011; 13(2):188.e13-21. · 4.64 Impact Factor