Community-based programmes to prevent falls in children: a systematic review

J Paediatr Child Health. 2005 Sep-Oct;41(9-10):465-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2005.00685.x.


Objective: We systematically reviewed the literature to examine the evidence for the effectiveness of community-based interventions to reduce fall-related injury in children aged 0-16 years.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive search of the literature using the following study selection criteria: community-based intervention study; target population was children aged 0-16 years; outcome measure was fall-related injury rates; and either a community control or historical control was used in the study design. Quality assessment and data abstraction were guided by a standardized procedure and performed independently by two authors.

Results: Only six studies fitting the inclusion criteria were identified in our search and only two of these used a trial design with a contemporary community control. Neither of the high quality evaluation studies showed an effect from the intervention and while authors of the remaining studies reported effective falls prevention programmes, the pre- and post-intervention design, uncontrolled for background secular trends, makes causal inferences from these studies difficult.

Conclusion: There is a paucity of research studies from which evidence regarding the effectiveness of community-based intervention programmes for the prevention of fall-related injury in children could be based.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention / methods
  • Accident Prevention / standards
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Services / methods
  • Community Health Services / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Preventive Health Services / methods
  • Preventive Health Services / standards