MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Andrea C. Tricco PhD, MSc
Scientist and Lead of the Knowledge Synthesis Team
Associate Professor Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Associate Editor Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, BMC Medical Research Methodology, Systematic Reviews
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults and account for $2 billion in direct health-care costs annually ($31 billion in costs to Medicare in the United States in 2012). We aimed to determine which types of fall-prevention programs may be effective for reducing falls in older people.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Exercise, along with vision assessment and treatment, as well as an assessment and possible modification of a person’s living environment, reduced the risk of injurious falls by 23% compared to usual care.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Our results suggest that encouraging patients to exercise, undergo a vision assessment, and, for those at risk, to consider osteoporosis therapy, given the potential impact of these interventions in preventing injurious falls.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Establishing the cost-effectiveness of falls prevention interventions found to be effective, determining which specific exercise components are most beneficial, as well as which quality improvement strategies have the greatest effect are all areas of future research that some of the authors are currently working on.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The choice of falls prevention interventions may depend on the values and preferences of patients and caregivers. For some patients, exercise may actually increase the risk of falls because they become more mobile as their strength increases, but the risks of immobility are far greater to older adults.
This research was funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge Synthesis Grant (KRS 289648). Dr Tricco reports receit of a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Synthesis grant. Dr Veroniki reports receipt of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program grant. Dr Sibley reports receipt of a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Integrated Knowledge Translation in Rehabilitation Sciences grant. Dr Riva reports board membership with the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Dr Holyroyd-Leduc reports working as an associate editor for the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Dr Majumdar reports support from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta (holds the Endowed Chair in Patient Health Management). Dr Straus reports receipt of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation grant. No other disclosures were reported.
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Tricco AC, Thomas SM, Veroniki AA, Hamid JS, Cogo E, Strifler L, Khan PA, Robson R, Sibley KM, MacDonald H, Riva JJ, Thavorn K, Wilson C, Holroyd-Leduc J, Kerr GD, Feldman F, Majumdar SR, Jaglal SB, Hui W, Straus SE. Comparisons of Interventions for Preventing Falls in Older AdultsA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1687–1699. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.15006
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