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Review: intrinsic and environmental risk factor modification reduces falls in elderly people

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 QUESTION: In community dwelling and institutionalised elderly people, how effective are programmes designed to reduce the incidence of falls?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching 8 databases. Bibliographies of relevant studies were reviewed, and researchers in the field were contacted for unpublished trials.

Study selection

Studies in any language were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) designed to minimise the effect of or exposure to any risk factor for falling; if they compared an intervention or group of interventions with usual care or alternative care; and if participants were elderly people living in the community or in institutional care.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on setting, patient inclusion and exclusion criteria, sample size, key components of the intervention, study quality, and outcomes. Outcomes were the number of people who fell, …

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  • Source of funding: Department of Health, Scottish Office, UK.

  • For correspondence: Mrs L D Gillespie, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. lesley.gillespie{at}