Objective:Home safety assessment was examined as part of a randomised trial of falls prevention interventions among older community dwellers.
Method:Falls prevention strategies, including education and awareness-raising, exercise, home modifications and medical assessment, were trialled with 252 members of the National Seniors Association. Falls outcomes were monitored using a daily calendar diary during intervention and follow-up periods.
Results:The home assessment group was significantly more likely to modify their home environment than the controls (p<0.0001). Participants, regardless of group allocation, reported a significant reduction in concern about falling (p<0.0001). During the intervention, the home assessment group had lower incidence rates for falls and injuries than the control group, although differences were not significant. The lowered rates were sustained post-intervention.
Conclusions:While the effect on falls incidence of a home safety intervention on its own could not be demonstrated, other benefits, including improved confidence attributable to awareness of such falls prevention measures, were recorded.
Implication:The null effects of home modifications on falls prevention in this study may indicate that the program is more appropriate for the frail aged.