Recent Publications in Falls Prevention

Antidepressant use and recurrent falls in community-dwelling older adults: findings from the Health ABC Study
Marcum ZA, Perera S, Thorpe JM, Switzer GE, Castle NG, Strotmeyer ES, Simonsick EM, Ayonayon HN, Phillips CL, Rubin S, Zucker-Levin AR, Bauer DC, Shorr RI, Kang Y, Gray SL, Hanlon JT.
Ann. Pharmacother. 2016; ePub(ePub): ePub.

BACKGROUND: Few studies have compared the risk of recurrent falls across various antidepressant agents-using detailed dosage and duration data-among community-dwelling older adults, including those who have a history of a fall/fracture. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of antidepressant use with recurrent falls, including among those with a history of falls/fractures, in community-dwelling elders. METHODS: This was a longitudinal analysis of 2948 participants with data collected via interview at year 1 from the Health, Aging and Body Composition study and followed through year 7 (1997-2004). Any antidepressant medication use was self-reported at years 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 and further categorized as (1) selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), (2) tricyclic antidepressants, and (3) others. Dosage and duration were examined. The outcome was recurrent falls (≥2) in the ensuing 12-month period following each medication data collection. RESULTS: Using multivariable generalized estimating equations models, we observed a 48% greater likelihood of recurrent falls in antidepressant users compared with nonusers (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.12-1.96). Increased likelihood was also found among those taking SSRIs (AOR = 1.62; 95% CI = 1.15-2.28), with short duration of use (AOR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.04-2.00), and taking moderate dosages (AOR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.15-2.18), all compared with no antidepressant use. Stratified analysis revealed an increased likelihood among users with a baseline history of falls/fractures compared with nonusers (AOR = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.28-2.63). CONCLUSION: Antidepressant use overall, SSRI use, short duration of use, and moderate dosage were associated with recurrent falls. Those with a history of falls/fractures also had an increased likelihood of recurrent falls.

Exercise for reducing fear of falling in older people living in the community: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis
Kumar A, Delbaere K, Zijlstra GA, Carpenter H, Iliffe S, Masud T, Skelton D, Morris R, Kendrick D.
Age Ageing 2016; 45(3): 345-352.

OBJECTIVE: to determine the effect of exercise interventions on fear of falling in community-living people aged ≥65. DESIGN: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bibliographic databases, trial registers and other sources were searched for randomised or quasi-randomised trials. Data were independently extracted by pairs of reviewers using a standard form. RESULTS: thirty trials (2,878 participants) reported 36 interventions (Tai Chi and yoga (n = 9); balance training (n = 19); strength and resistance training (n = 8)). The risk of bias was low in few trials. Most studies were from high-income countries (Australia = 8, USA = 7). Intervention periods (<12 weeks = 22; 13-26 weeks = 7; >26 weeks = 7) and exercise frequency (1-3 times/week = 32; ≥4 times/week = 4) varied between studies. Fear of falling was measured by single-item questions (7) and scales measuring falls efficacy (14), balance confidence (9) and concern or worry about falling (2). Meta-analyses showed a small to moderate effect of exercise interventions on reducing fear of falling immediately post-intervention (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.37, 95% CI 0.18, 0.56; 24 studies; low-quality evidence). There was a small, but not statistically significant effect in the longer term (<6 months (SMD 0.17, 95% CI -0.05, 0.38 (four studies) and ≥6 months post-intervention SMD 0.20, 95% CI -0.01, 0.41 (three studies)). CONCLUSIONS: exercise interventions probably reduce fear of falling to a small to moderate degree immediately post-intervention in community-living older people. The high risk of bias in most included trials suggests findings should be interpreted with caution. High-quality trials are needed to strengthen the evidence base in this area.

Factors associated with injurious falls in residential care facilities
Towne SD, Cho J, Smith ML, Ory MG.
J. Aging Health 2016; ePub(ePub): ePub.

OBJECTIVE: Despite a growing literature on the epidemiology of falls, little is known about injurious falls in residential care facilities (RCFs). Addressing this gap, this study examined demographic, interpersonal, institutional, and community factors associated with injurious falls in RCFs. METHOD: We conducted analyses using a nationally representative sample (n = 733,309) of RCF residents (2010) examining whether or not a resident experienced a fall that resulted in any injury (past year). RESULTS: Overall, 15% of RCF residents experienced an injurious fall. Residents needing assistance with activities of daily living were more likely to experience injurious falls (adjusted-OR = 1.85), whereas males (adjusted-OR = 0.74) and those residing in smaller facilities (adjusted-OR = 0.68) were less likely. Other resident sociodemographic characteristics, payment status, social connectedness, and rurality were not significant independent predictors. DISCUSSION: Research further exploring multifactorial fall prevention screening and treatment programs in RCFs is recommended for reducing injurious falls in this understudied setting.