Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a single home visit by an occupational therapist in the reduction of fall risk after hip fracture in elderly women.
Design: Quasi-randomized controlled trial.
Participants: Ninety-five women aged 60 years or older, living in the community, who sustained a fall-related hip fracture.
Methods: The women were allocated alternately to intervention or control groups. All the women underwent a multidisciplinary programme targeted at fall prevention during in-patient rehabilitation. Additionally, the intervention group received a home visit by an occupational therapist a median of 20 days after discharge. Falls were recorded at a 6-month follow-up.
Results: Thirteen of the 50 women in the control group sustained 20 falls during 9231 days, whereas 6 of the 45 women in the intervention group sustained 9 falls during 8970 days. After adjustment for observation periods, Barthel Index scores, and body height, a significantly lower proportion of fallers was found in the intervention group: the odds ratio was 0.275 (95% confidence interval 0.081-0.937, p=0.039).
Conclusion: A single home visit by an occupational therapist after discharge from a rehabilitation hospital significantly reduced the risk of falling in a sample of elderly women following hip fracture.