Multifactorial falls prevention programmes for older adults presenting to the emergency department with a fall: systematic review and meta-analysis

Renata Teresa Morello*, Sze-Ee Soh, Kate Behm, Amy Egan, Darshini Ayton, Keith Hill, Leon Flicker, Christopher D Etherton-Beer, Glenn Arendts, Nicholas Waldron, Julie Redfern, Terrence Haines, Judy Lowthian, Samuel R Nyman, Peter Cameron, Nicola Fairhall, Anna Lucia Barker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether multifactorial falls prevention interventions are effective in preventing falls, fall injuries, emergency department (ED) re-presentations and hospital admissions in older adults presenting to the ED with a fall.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

DATA SOURCES: Four health-related electronic databases (Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PEDro and The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) were searched (inception to June 2018).

STUDY SELECTION: RCTs of multifactorial falls prevention interventions targeting community-dwelling older adults ( ≥ 60 years) presenting to the ED with a fall with quantitative data on at least one review outcome.

DATA EXTRACTION: Two independent reviewers determined inclusion, assessed study quality and undertook data extraction, discrepancies resolved by a third.

DATA SYNTHESIS: 12 studies involving 3986 participants, from six countries, were eligible for inclusion. Studies were of variable methodological quality. Multifactorial interventions were heterogeneous, though the majority included education, referral to healthcare services, home modifications, exercise and medication changes. Meta-analyses demonstrated no reduction in falls (rate ratio = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.05), number of fallers (risk ratio = 1.02; 95% CI: 0.88 to 1.18), rate of fractured neck of femur (risk ratio = 0.82; 95% CI: 0.53 to 1.25), fall-related ED presentations (rate ratio = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.84 to 1.16) or hospitalisations (rate ratio = 1.14; 95% CI: 0.69 to 1.89) with multifactorial falls prevention programmes.

CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence to support the use of multifactorial interventions to prevent falls or hospital utilisation in older people presenting to ED following a fall. Further research targeting this population group is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalInjury Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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