Each year millions of older adults fall, and one out of five falls result in an injury that requires medical attention. In 2015 medical costs associated with falls was over $50 billion. Falls and specifically fall related injury in the older American population is a public health burden. There are many modalities that are implemented to reduce falls including management of underlying medical conditions, exercise regimens, supplementation, medication modifications, and home modifications. This project worked to identify which modalities had the greatest impact on falls. The goal of the information obtained is to inform practitioners and public health professionals that interact with this patient population to provide appropriate preventative care. A rapid systematic review was performed by one reviewer in PubMed and CINAHL. A total of 1,415 titles and abstracts were screened. Studies were included if they were randomized control trials published in the English language and conducted in the United States from 2017-2022. The search yielded 10 relevant papers that were included in the final analysis. This rapid systematic review outlines that falls are preventable. Results from this rapid systematic review show that there was a statistical difference in falls after participation in an exercise regimen, specifically Tai ji Quan, and after multimodal approaches. The findings from this systematic review have implications for recommending that patients in this age range have appropriate routine screening by their primary care provider to assess for falling. Once someone is identified as having a high fall risk, providers should refer patients to an exercise program, review their existing medications, and consider adding vitamin D at a safe level (under 1000 U/day). The results can also have implications on program planning for the community public health practitioner working to design an intervention for this population.
Roach, Heather L., "Fall Reduction Strategies for Older Community Dwelling Americans" (2022). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 469.