Systematic review of the effect of home modification and fall prevention programs on falls and the performance of community-dwelling older adults

Am J Occup Ther. 2012 May-Jun;66(3):284-91. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2012.005017.


This systematic review explored the impact of fall prevention programs and home modifications on falls and the performance of community-dwelling older adults. It was conducted as part of the American Occupational Therapy Association's Evidence-Based Practice Project. Thirty-three articles were analyzed and synthesized. The strongest results were found for multifactorial programs that included home evaluations and home modifications, physical activity or exercise, education, vision and medication checks, or assistive technology to prevent falls. Positive outcomes included a decreased rate of functional decline, a decrease in fear of falling, and an increase in physical factors such as balance and strength. The strength of the evidence for physical activity and home modification programs provided individually was moderate. Implications for practice, education, and research are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Residential Facilities