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The BBC are reporting: Moves to cut falls 'not working'
Falls place a huge burden on the health service
There is little evidence that fall prevention programmes used throughout the NHS work, research suggests.
Falls are a major cause of injury among older people with one in three aged over 65 suffering a fall once a year.
However, a review of 19 trials involving 6,397 participants found little evidence that the schemes cut falls, or fall-related injuries.
The study, by the Universities of Warwick and Oxford, is published online by the British Medical Journal.
It follows an audit by the Royal College of Physicians which was critical of the care given to elderly people who fall and fracture bones.
Both the government's National Service Framework for Older People in 2001 and the National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in 2004 have recommended fall prevention programmes.
These can include advice on issues such as how to improve strength and mobility, and on how to minimise risk around the home.
But the researchers say they have proved to be very variable, both in terms of the way patients are assessed, and the type of help offered.
They argue that the existing evidence is not conclusive and is not of the highest quality, and there is a pressing need for comprehensive evaluation of existing schemes to determine whether or not they work.
Falls are becoming an increasing problem for the NHS as the population ages. One in three people aged over 65 and, one in two aged over 80 suffer a fall at least once a year.
Not only do they cause broken bones, and head injuries, they can leave people long-term disabled, fearful and dependent on others. ...