Objective: to determine the clinical effectiveness of a day hospital-delivered multifactorial falls prevention programme, for community-dwelling older people at high risk of future falls identified through a screening process.
Design: multicentre randomised controlled trial.
Setting: eight general practices and three day hospitals based in the East Midlands, UK.
Participants: three hundred and sixty-four participants, mean age 79 years, with a median of three falls risk factors per person at baseline.
Interventions: a day hospital-delivered multifactorial falls prevention programme, consisting of strength and balance training, a medical review and a home hazards assessment.
Main outcome measure: rate of falls over 12 months of follow-up, recorded using self-completed monthly diaries.
Results: one hundred and seventy-two participants in each arm contributed to the primary outcome analysis. The overall falls rate during follow-up was 1.7 falls per person-year in the intervention arm compared with 2.0 falls per person-year in the control arm. The stratum-adjusted incidence rate ratio was 0.86 (95% CI 0.73-1.01), P = 0.08, and 0.73 (95% CI 0.51-1.03), P = 0.07 when adjusted for baseline characteristics. There were no significant differences between the intervention and control arms in any secondary outcomes.
Conclusion: this trial did not conclusively demonstrate the benefit of a day hospital-delivered multifactorial falls prevention programme, in a population of older people identified as being at high risk of a future fall.