Interventions to reduce the number of falls among older adults with/without cognitive impairment: an exploratory meta-analysis

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Abstract

Objective:

This exploratory meta-analysis aimed to examine and compare the effective interventions to prevent falls among institutionalized/non-institutionalized older adults without cognitive impairment with interventions to prevent falls for older adults with cognitive impairment.

Design:

A database search identified 111 trials published between January 1992 and August 2012 that evaluated fall-prevention interventions among institutionalized/non-institutionalized older adults with and without cognitive impairment as measured by valid cognition scales.

Results:

Exercise alone intervention was similar effective on reducing the numbers of falls among older adults without cognitive impairment regardless of setting (non-institutionalized: OR = 0.783, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.656–0.936; p = 0.007 institutionalized: OR = 0.799, 95% CI = 0.646–0.988, p = 0.038). Vitamin D/calcium supplementation had a positive effect on the reduction of numbers of falls among non-institutionalized older adults without cognitive impairment (OR = 0.789, 95% CI = 0.631–0.985, p = 0.036), as did home visits and environment modification (OR = 0.751, 95% CI = 0.565–0.998, p = 0.048). Exercise alone, exercise-related multiple interventions, and multifactorial interventions were associated with positive outcomes among both institutionalized and non-institutionalized older adults with cognitive impairment, but studies are limited.

Conclusions:

Single exercise interventions can significantly reduce numbers of falls among older adults with and without cognitive impairment in institutional or non-institutional settings. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation, home visits, and environment modification can reduce the risk of falls among older adults in non-institutional settings. Exercise-related multiple interventions and multifactorial interventions may only be effective for preventing falls in older adults with cognitive impairment. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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