Fall prevention program comes up short

Research we're watching

Published: October, 2020

A specialized fall prevention program managed by nurses wasn't able to significantly reduce the rate of serious falls among high-risk adults over age 70, according to a study published July 9, 2020, in The New England Journal of Medicine. The STRIDE program (the name stands for Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders) was tested by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and National Institutes of Health as a means of reducing falls among high-risk seniors.

Falls are a leading cause of injury in people 65 and older, with some three million adults heading to the emergency room each year with a serious injury caused by a fall. Program staff worked with individuals at least 20 months to identify and modify such risk factors as problems with walking or balance, hazards in the home that made a fall more likely, a history of low blood pressure when standing, and low vitamin D levels.

Unfortunately, the outcomes were the same as in a control group of people who got traditional fall prevention advice, including an informational pamphlet and instructions to discuss fall prevention with their doctor.

Image: © yongyut Chanthaboot/Getty Images

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.