Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elderly Falls Cut By 11 Percent With Education And Intervention

Date:
July 21, 2008
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Commonly viewed as an inevitable consequence of aging and often ignored in clinical practice, falls among the elderly were cut by 11 percent when researchers at Yale School of Medicine used a combination of fall prevention educational campaigns and interventions aimed at encouraging clinicians to incorporate fall-risk assessment and management into their practices.

Commonly viewed as an inevitable consequence of aging and often ignored in clinical practice, falls among the elderly were cut by 11 percent when researchers at Yale School of Medicine used a combination of fall prevention educational campaigns and interventions aimed at encouraging clinicians to incorporate fall-risk assessment and management into their practices.

Related Articles


The study also found that the fall prevention programs resulted in almost 10 percent fewer fall-related hip fractures and head injuries among the elderly, who receive their care from a broad range of health providers in the intervention area.

The study was conducted by Mary E. Tinetti, M.D., the Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Medicine, epidemiology and public health and investigative medicine at Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues.

It is the first study to examine the effects of fall prevention strategies when used by clinicians who care for the elderly. Previous trials studied fall prevention carried out by researchers, not by elderly patients' own health providers. The study targeted primary care physicians, rehabilitation specialists (physical and occupational therapists), home care nurses, hospital emergency room staff and other clinicians and providers.

Tinetti and her team compared the rates of serious fall injury and health care related to falls among people age 70 and older in two regions of Connecticut. For four years, health care providers in the greater Hartford region were contacted as part of a multi-component program targeting poor balance, vision loss, medication use, improper footwear, and blood pressure drops upon standing. Clinicians were encouraged to cut medications and increase physical therapy referrals among other proven fall prevention strategies. About 3,000 clinicians, administrators and policy experts in this region also received fall prevention information in the form of brochures, seminars, posters and patient education materials. Those in the Southern Connecticut region followed the usual care practice.

"The 11 percent difference translates into about 1,800 fewer injuries, less discomfort and disability for the elderly and about $21 million less in health care costs in the region where the interventions took place, compared with the usual-care region," said Tinetti. "The data show that fall risk assessment and management can be embedded into practice. We weren't expecting such great results because it can be difficult to adapt new strategies into patient care. We are now looking at ways to make these interventions and strategies available to the rest of the state and country."

In past studies, Tinetti and her team identified effective strategies to prevent falls but she said they have been underutilized. "Falling doesn't have to be an inevitable part of age because it is preventable," she said.

Fall-related injuries are among the most common, disabling and expensive health conditions experienced by older adults. Falls account for 10 percent of emergency department visits and 6 percent of hospitalizations among those over age 65. Falls can also lead to functional decline, placement in a nursing home and restricted activity.

The study was supported by a grant from the Donaghue Foundation and by the Yale Pepper Center from the National Institute on Aging.

Other authors on the study include Dorothy I. Baker, Mary King, M.D., Margaret Gottschalk, Terrence E. Murphy, Denise Acampora, Bradley P. Carlin, Linda Leo-Summers and Heather G. Allore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tinetti, Mary E., Baker, Dorothy I., King, Mary, Gottschalk, Margaret, Murphy, Terrence E., Acampora, Denise, Carlin, Bradley P., Leo-Summers, Linda, Allore, Heather G. Effect of Dissemination of Evidence in Reducing Injuries from Falls. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 359 No. 3 (July 17, 2008) [link]

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Elderly Falls Cut By 11 Percent With Education And Intervention." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717170433.htm>.
Yale University. (2008, July 21). Elderly Falls Cut By 11 Percent With Education And Intervention. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717170433.htm
Yale University. "Elderly Falls Cut By 11 Percent With Education And Intervention." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717170433.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins