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Falls prevention 'doesn't work'

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There is limited evidence that falls prevention programmes are effective, according to a review of studies.

A systematic review of 19 studies of falls prevention programmes across the world drew from six electronic databases. It looked at outcomes such as number of fallers, fall related injuries, death and admission to hospital.

Results showed only a slight reduction in falls risk of around 9% and a small drop in falls related injuries of about 10%. No difference was found in admissions to hospital, emergency department attendance, death, or moves to institutional care.

The study authors concluded there is a need for a large scale definitive evaluation to assess clinical and cost-effectiveness of this type of intervention.

BMJ Online First (2007)

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