Large-scale fall prevention study finds smaller than expected benefit

Large-scale fall prevention study finds smaller than expected benefit
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among older Americans and lead to 3 million emergency department visits every year. About one out of every three adults age 65 years and older falls each year, and 20 to 30 percent of those who fall suffer moderate-to-severe injuries such as broken hips or head trauma. Investigators involved in the STRIDE (Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders) Study, jointly led by Shalender Bhasin, MD, director of Research Programs in Men's Health, Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women's Hospital, evaluated the effectiveness of a nurse-delivered, fall-injury prevention strategy delivered through primary care. This week in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team reports an approximately 8 to 10 percent reduction in serious fall injuries—an intervention effect that was lower than expected.