An economic evaluation of community and residential aged care falls prevention strategies in NSW

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Falls are a major cause of harm to older people and fall-related injuries impose a substantial burden on the health and aged care systems. Falls resulting in injury or hospitalisation can lead to a reduction in both length and quality of life. Research has shown that many falls can be prevented. Fall prevention strategies lead to reductions in the number of individuals who fall, which consequently reduces the number of individuals injured or hospitalised due to a fall.

The key objective of this project was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of strategies designed to prevent falls among people aged 65 and over living in the community and in residential aged care facilities.

Meta-analysis results of community dwelling interventions

We undertook a systematic review of fall prevention interventions in community dwelling older people. Concurrently a 2009 Cochrane systematic review on the same topic was conducted.1 Results from both reviews informed our economic evaluation. Interventions that significantly reduced the risk of falling (based on the numbers of falls) were: group exercise, tai chi, home hazard modification, psychotropic medication withdrawal, expedited cataract surgery, cardiac pacing, multiple interventions and multi-factorial interventions. Home exercise was significant in the Cochrane review only.

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