Fall Risk Screening Strategy Cuts Fall-Related Hospitalizations

Older adults at risk for fall who have Fall Plan of Care less likely to have fall-related hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a multifactorial fall risk intervention, which includes screening for fall risk assessment for modifiable risk factors, and prescribing evidence-based interventions to reduce fall risk can reduce the likelihood of fall-related hospitalization, according to a study published online Sept. 20 in The Gerontologist.

Yvonne A. Johnston, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., from Binghamton University in New York, and colleagues classified 12,346 adults aged 65 years or older who were screened for fall risk into three groups: at risk and no Fall Plan of Care (FPOC), at risk with an FPOC, and not at risk. Participants had a primary care visit at one of 14 outpatient clinics between Sept. 11, 2012, and Oct. 30, 2015. The impact of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention multifactorial Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative on medically treated falls was examined.

The researchers found that compared with older adults without an FPOC, those at risk for a fall with an FPOC were 0.6 times less likely to have a fall-related hospitalization; their post-intervention odds were similar to those of older adults who were not at risk.

"This study demonstrated that implementation of STEADI fall risk screening and prevention strategies among older adults in the primary care setting can reduce fall-related hospitalizations and may lower associated health care expenditures," the authors write.

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