JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of a multifactorial fall-and-fracture risk assessment and management program on gait and balance performances and disability in hospitalized older adults: a controlled study

A Trombetti, M Hars, F Herrmann, R Rizzoli, S Ferrari
Osteoporosis International 2013, 24 (3): 867-76
22832637

UNLABELLED: This controlled intervention study in hospitalized oldest old adults showed that a multifactorial fall-and-fracture risk assessment and management program, applied in a dedicated geriatric hospital unit, was effective in improving fall-related physical and functional performances and the level of independence in activities of daily living in high-risk patients.

INTRODUCTION: Hospitalization affords a major opportunity for interdisciplinary cooperation to manage fall-and-fracture risk factors in older adults. This study aimed at assessing the effects on physical performances and the level of independence in activities of daily living (ADL) of a multifactorial fall-and-fracture risk assessment and management program applied in a geriatric hospital setting.

METHODS: A controlled intervention study was conducted among 122 geriatric inpatients (mean ± SD age, 84 ± 7 years) admitted with a fall-related diagnosis. Among them, 92 were admitted to a dedicated unit and enrolled into a multifactorial intervention program, including intensive targeted exercise. Thirty patients who received standard usual care in a general geriatric unit formed the control group. Primary outcomes included gait and balance performances and the level of independence in ADL measured 12 ± 6 days apart. Secondary outcomes included length of stay, incidence of in-hospital falls, hospital readmission, and mortality rates.

RESULTS: Compared to the usual care group, the intervention group had significant improvements in Timed Up and Go (adjusted mean difference [AMD] = -3.7s; 95 % CI = -6.8 to -0.7; P = 0.017), Tinetti (AMD = -1.4; 95 % CI = -2.1 to -0.8; P < 0.001), and Functional Independence Measure (AMD = 6.5; 95 %CI = 0.7-12.3; P = 0.027) test performances, as well as in several gait parameters (P < 0.05). Furthermore, this program favorably impacted adverse outcomes including hospital readmission (hazard ratio = 0.3; 95 % CI = 0.1-0.9; P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: A multifactorial fall-and-fracture risk-based intervention program, applied in a dedicated geriatric hospital unit, was effective and more beneficial than usual care in improving physical parameters related to the risk of fall and disability among high-risk oldest old patients.

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