- リハビリテーション医学 : 日本リハビリテーション医学会誌 (ISSN:0034351X)
- vol.40, no.6, pp.374-388, 2003-06-18
Fall prevention is one of the major issues in health care in our aging society. The aim of this review is to provide useful information for researchers and practitioners who plan to start fall prevention programs for elderly persons with various risk levels and in different settings. Fifty-three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and several metaanalyses retrieved with extensive literature search formed the basis for this review. Available evidence suggests that several preventive strategies have been proven beneficial in fall prevention. For the community-dwelling elderly, two RCTs and one meta-analysis demonstrated that an individually tailored home exercise program provided by nurses or physical therapists could reduce the rate of falls and injuries. One RCT suggested that Tai Chi Chuan might have a high potential to reduce falls. Two large RCTs indicated that programs including group exercise classes could also reduce the number of fallers. For people with known risk factors living in the community, three RCTs showed that home visits to address multiple risk factor modification were an effective way to reduce falls. One RCT with a relatively small sample showed that psychotropic withdrawal redeced falls in elderly persons taking psyshotropic medication. A subgroup analysis of one RCT showed that home hazard reduction at hospital discharge reduced subsequent falls in patients with a past history of falls. However, more evidence is needed to prove its effectiveness, because this effect was also observed outoside of homes. Dual chamber pacemaker for elderly persons with hypersensitive carotid sinus, who were detected when investigated for undiagnosed falls, markedly redeced subsequent falls with or without syncope. In institutional settings, two RCTs showed that comprehensive risk assessment and modification redeced the rate of falls and fractures or the number of recurrent fallers. Three RCTs performed in hospital settings failed to show any effectiveness. However, a meta-analysis of 3 controlled trials and 7 cohort studies with a historical control suggested that fall prevention program in hospitals could be promising. There are some methodological problems in fall prevention research such as the definition, measures, and monitoring method of falls, inadequate sample size and a short follow-up period. In the future, we need research based on strong and comprehensive methodological designs.