Abstract

A randomized trial of a falls prevention program that addressed home safety, exercise, and behavioral risks was conducted with 3,182 independently living HMO members age 65 and older. The intervention decreased the odds of falling by 0.85, but only reduced the average number of falls among those who fell by 7%. The effect was strongest among men age 75 and older. The likelihood of avoiding falls requiring medical treatment was not significantly affected by the intervention. We conclude that the intervention dose was not of sufficient intensity or duration to have a marked protective effect on older persons. Future research should focus on more intensive intervention approaches because serious falls do not appear to be amenable to low-intensity environment/behavioral efforts.

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