01/28/2011 - Articles

Prevention of falls in the community

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Falls are a major cause of disability and loss of independence among older people. Many different ways of preventing falls have been suggested and tried but it is not yet clear what the best falls prevention ‘package’ might be. Researchers in Nottingham, UK, now present evidence that a multi-faceted falls prevention program in the community can deliver positive results.

They looked at people who had had a fall and called an ambulance for this reason but had not been admitted to hospital. This was a good way of identifying those at risk of further falls. One group was assigned to an intervention which included balance and strength training, regular medication review, removal of fall and trip hazards in the home and provision of appropriate aids. The other, control, group used health and social services as usual. There were 102 people in each group and the rate of falls over 12 months was measured. There were 956 falls altogether of which 649 were in the control group and 307 in the intervention group – a difference which shows the value of the falls intervention program. Those in the intervention group were also more active in their daily life, most likely because they had gained in confidence and lost some of their fear of falling. The study shows that those at risk of falls can be helped by a multidisciplinary prevention program delivered in a community setting.



Logan P et al Community falls prevention for people who call an emergency ambulance after a fall: randomised controlled trial British Medical Journal 5th May 2010;340:1070


Created on: 05/20/2010
Reviewed on: 01/28/2011

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