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Cochrane now states that Home Modifications are cost efective and reduce falls


The most recent Cochrane review regarding interventions to reduce falls (Sept 2012 ) has just been released. The review was led by the University of Otago in New Zealand, and involved researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Hull and the University of Warwick in the UK. It is a major review and update on the original 2009 Cochrane review on falls prevention. Fifty-one additional trials have been included in this update. This review now contains 159 trials with 79,193 participants.

Importantly, it now lists environmental interventions as being significant in falls reduction. Specifically the main results regarding summarised regarding home modification interventions are as follows " Home safety assessment and modification interventions were effective in reducing rate of falls (RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.97; six trials; 4208 participants) and risk of falling (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.96; seven trials; 4051 participants). These interventions were more effective in people at higher risk of falling, including those with severe visual impairment. Home safety interventions appear to be more effective when delivered by an occupational therapist." (see Further, the same Meta-analysis of current reserach found interventions reduce cost (although its link to home modifications was less clear). For instance, "there was some, although limited, evidence that falls prevention strategies can be cost-saving during the trial period, and may also be cost-effective over the participants’ remaining lifetime". In the main results summary it said that only "Thirteen trials provided a comprehensive economic evaluation. Three of these indicated cost savings for their interventions during the trial period". Of the three trials, one was a home safety assessment and modification, while another was an exercise intervention and the last was a multifactorial programme targeting eight specific risk factors (which may or may not have included home modification as part of the intervention package).

Obviously more work needs to be done, but this is encouraging news for those providing Home Modification interventions.


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