Masud, Tahir and Coupland, Carol and Drummond, Avril E.R. and Gladman, John R.F. and Kendrick, Denise and Sach, Tracey and Harwood, Rowan H. and Kumar, Pradeep and Morris, Rob and Taylor, Rachael and Youde, Jane and Conroy, Simon
Multifactorial day hospital intervention to reduce falls in high risk older people in primary care: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN46584556].
Falls in older people are a major public health concern in terms of morbidity, mortality and cost. Previous studies suggest that multifactorial interventions can reduce falls, and many geriatric day hospitals are now offering falls intervention programmes. However, no studies have investigated whether these programmes, based in the day hospital are effective, nor whether they can be successfully applied to high-risk older people screened in primary care.
The hypothesis is that a multidisciplinary falls assessment and intervention at Day hospitals can reduce the incidence of falls in older people identified within primary care as being at high risk of falling. This will be tested by a pragmatic parallel-group randomised controlled trial in which the participants, identified as at high risk of falling, will be randomised into either the intervention Day hospital arm or to a control (current practice) arm. Those participants preferring not to enter the full randomised study will be offered the opportunity to complete brief diaries only at monthly intervals. This data will be used to validate the screening questionnaire. Three day hospitals (2 Nottingham, 1 Derby) will provide the interventions, and the University of Nottingham's Departments of Primary Care, the Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing Unit, and the Trent Institute for Health Service Research will provide the methodological and statistical expertise. Four hundred subjects will be randomised into the two arms. The primary outcome measure will be the rate of falls over one year. Secondary outcome measures will include the proportion of people experiencing at least one fall, the proportion of people experiencing recurrent falls (>1), injuries, fear of falling, quality of life, institutionalisation rates, and use of health services. Cost-effectiveness analyses will be performed to inform health commissioners about resource allocation issues. The importance of this trial is that the results may be applicable to any UK day hospital setting.
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