Critical features of multifactorial interventions for effective falls reduction in residential aged care: a systematic review, intervention component analysis and qualitative comparative analysis

Jenni Suen, Dylan Kneale, Katy Sutcliffe, Wing Kwok, Ian D. Cameron, Maria Crotty, Catherine Sherrington, Suzanne Dyer

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Abstract

Background: Multifactorial fall prevention trials providing interventions based on individual risk factors have variable success in aged care facilities. To determine configurations of trial features that reduce falls, intervention component analysis (ICA) and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) were undertaken. 

Methods: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from a Cochrane Collaboration review (Cameron, 2018) with meta-analysis data, plus trials identified in a systematic search update to December 2021 were included. Meta-analyses were updated. A theory developed through ICA of English publications of trialist's perspectives was assessed through QCA and a subgroup meta-analysis. 

Results: Pooled effectiveness of multifactorial interventions indicated a falls rate ratio of 0.85 (95% confidence interval, CI, 0.65-1.10; I2 = 85%; 11 trials). All tested interventions targeted both environmental and personal risk factors by including assessment of environmental hazards, a medical or medication review and exercise intervention. ICA emphasised the importance of co-design involving facility staff and managers and tailored intervention delivery to resident's intrinsic factors for successful outcomes. QCA of facility engagement plus tailored delivery was consistent with greater reduction in falls, supported by high consistency (0.91) and coverage (0.85). An associated subgroup meta-analysis demonstrated strong falls reduction without heterogeneity (rate ratio 0.61, 95%CI 0.54-0.69, I2 = 0%; 7 trials). 

Conclusion: Multifactorial falls prevention interventions should engage aged care staff and managers to implement strategies which include tailored intervention delivery according to each resident's intrinsic factors. Such approaches are consistently associated with a successful reduction in falls, as demonstrated by QCA and subgroup meta-analyses. Co-design approaches may also enhance intervention success.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafad185
Number of pages11
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume52
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • aged care
  • facility engagement
  • fall prevention
  • multifactorial
  • older people
  • systematic review

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