159170 Long term impact and cost benefit of a falls prevention program among community-based older people

Monday, November 5, 2007: 10:45 AM

John R. Beard, MBBS PhD, FAFPHM , Centre for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Acadamy of Medicine, New York, NY
Therese M. Dunn, B Health Sci , Division of Population Health, North Coast Area Health Service, Lismore, Australia
Eric Van Beurden, PhD , Division of Population Health, North Coast Area Health Service, Lismore, Australia
Uta Dietrich, MPH , Division of Population Health, North Coast Area Health Service, Lismore, Australia
David Rowell, M Health Ec , Australian Centre of Economic Research on Health, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
Stay on Your Feet was a multi strategic, community-based, falls prevention program targeting older people at all levels of risk in the North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia between 1992 and 1996. We monitored the long term impact of the intervention by examining hospital admission rates for falls related conditions in the intervention region before, during, and for eight years after the program was completed. These were compared with overall trends in the states of New South Wales and Queensland. Cost benefit analysis compared the costs of the program with estimates of savings from avoided hospital admissions. Falls related hospitalisations in the intervention region had fallen two years after the program commenced and have remained lower than comparison regions over the subsequent follow-up. This effect now appears to be waning. Comparison of trends in other conditions including acute myocardial infarction did not mirror these findings, suggesting they are not simply the result of a regional demographic trend. Cost benefit analysis was limited to the intervention period alone and showed the program to be highly cost-effective. The overall benefit to cost ratio for the intervention as a whole over this period was 19.5:1. These findings suggest that well designed, community-based interventions for falls prevention among older people are likely to have lasting benefits. Cost benefit analysis suggests they are a wise investment for all levels of government.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the role of community based interventions to prevent falls in the elderly. Articulate the growing cost to the community of falls among the elderly. Apply community based approaches to preventing falls in the elderly. Describe ways of evaluating community based falls prevention programs.

Keywords: Elderly, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.