Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 8

Effectiveness of preventive home visits in reducing the risk of falls in old age: a randomized controlled trial

Authors Luck T, Motzek T, Luppa, Matschinger, Fleischer, Sesselmann, Roling, Beutner, König, Behrens, Riedel-Heller

Received 26 January 2013

Accepted for publication 30 April 2013

Published 12 June 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 697—702


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 6

Tobias Luck,1,2,* Tom Motzek,3,* Melanie Luppa,1 Herbert Matschinger,1 Steffen Fleischer,4 Yves Sesselmann,4 Gudrun Roling,5 Katrin Beutner,4 Hans-Helmut König,6 Johann Behrens,4 Steffi G Riedel-Heller1

1Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; 2Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; 3Technical University Dresden, Dresden, Germany; 4Institute of Nursing and Health Science, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany; 5Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany; 6Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Falls in older people are a major public health issue, but the underlying causes are complex. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive home visits as a multifactorial, individualized strategy to reduce falls in community-dwelling older people.
Methods: Data were derived from a prospective randomized controlled trial with follow-up examination after 18 months. Two hundred and thirty participants (≥80 years of age) with functional impairment were randomized to intervention and control groups. The intervention group received up to three preventive home visits including risk assessment, home counseling intervention, and a booster session. The control group received no preventive home visits. Structured interviews at baseline and follow-up provided information concerning falls in both study groups. Random-effects Poisson regression evaluated the effect of preventive home visits on the number of falls controlling for covariates.
Results: Random-effects Poisson regression showed a significant increase in the number of falls between baseline and follow-up in the control group (incidence rate ratio 1.96) and a significant decrease in the intervention group (incidence rate ratio 0.63) controlling for age, sex, family status, level of care, and impairment in activities of daily living.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that a preventive home visiting program can be effective in reducing falls in community-dwelling older people.

Keywords: falls, randomized controlled trial, home visits, prevention, evaluation

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]