Controlled clinical trial exploring the impact of a brief intervention for prevention of falls in an emergency department

Kristie J. Harper, Annette D. Barton, Glenn Arendts, Deborah G. Edwards, Antonio C. Petta, Antonio Celenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To establish the effectiveness of a brief intervention to prevent falls in older patients presenting to the ED post-discharge. Methods: The present study is a prospective single-centre, quasi-randomised controlled clinical trial of a brief targeted educational intervention to prevent falls. The intervention group received brief scripted education and were advised of their percentage probability of falling in the next 6 months. The key message was to reinforce the importance of falls prevention strategies and the seriousness of falls. Results: A total of 412 over 65 years old were recruited; 63 (32.1%) patients in the intervention group and 67 (36.8%) in the control group reported falls in the 6 month follow up period (OR 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.53–1.25, P = 0.34). No significant differences were noted for mortalities (P = 0.54), ED representations (P = 0.15) and medication changes (P = 0.17). Patients receiving intervention had less hospital admissions (P = 0.002) after adjustment for confounding variables. Intervention patients who presented with a fall had significant (P = 0.007) improvement in function at 6 months, whereas those not presenting with a fall experienced functional decline. Conclusion: A brief intervention was associated with maintenance of function in fallers and reduced hospital admissions, without preventing falls post-discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-530
Number of pages7
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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