Occupational Therapy Fall Prevention Interventions for Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Am J Occup Ther. 2018 Jul/Aug;72(4):7204190040p1-7204190040p11. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2018.030494.


Objective: Accidental falls among community-dwelling older adults are preventable and increase the risk of morbidity, hospitalization, and institutionalization. We updated and broadened a 2008 systematic review examining the evidence for the effectiveness of fall prevention interventions in improving fall-related outcomes, occupational performance, quality of life, and health care facility readmissions for community-dwelling older adults.

Method: We searched and analyzed literature published from 2008 to 2015 from five electronic databases.

Results: Fifty articles met the inclusion criteria and were critically appraised and synthesized-37 provided Level I; 5, Level II; and 8, Level III evidence. Analysis was organized into four intervention themes: single component, multicomponent, multifactorial, and population based. Mixed evidence was found for single-component and multifactorial interventions, strong evidence was found for multicomponent interventions, and moderate evidence was found for population-based interventions.

Conclusion: These findings can inform the delivery and integration of fall prevention interventions from acute care to community discharge.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Postural Balance
  • Quality of Life*