Linking health service utilisation and mortality data - unravelling what happens after fall-related paramedic care

A. Stefanie Mikolaizak, Lara Harvey, Barbara Toson, Stephen R. Lord, Anne Tiedemann, Kirsten Howard, Jacqueline C.T. Close

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A randomised controlled trial implemented and evaluated a new model of care for non-transported older fallers to prevent future falls and unplanned health service use. This current study uses linked data to evaluate the effects of the intervention beyond the initial 12-month study period. Method: Study data from an established cohort of 221 adults were linked to administrative data from NSW Ambulance, Emergency Department Data Collection, Admitted Patient Data Collection and Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages evaluating health service use at 12, 24 and 36 months following randomisation including time to event (health service utilisation) and mortality. Negative binomial and Cox's proportional hazard regression were performed to capture the impact of the study between groups and adherence status. Results: At 36 months follow-up, 89% of participants called an ambulance, 87% attended the Emergency Department and 91% were admitted to hospital. There were no significant differences in all-cause health service utilisation between the control and intervention group (IG) at 12, 24 and 36 months follow-up. Fall-related health service use was significantly higher within the IG at 12 (IRR:1.40 (95%CI:1.01-1.94) and 24 months (IRR:1.43 (95%CI:1.05-1.95)). Medication use, impaired balance and previous falls were associated with subsequent health service use. Over 40% of participants died by the follow-up period with risk of death lower in the IG at 36 months (HR:0.64, 95%CI:0.45-0.91). Conclusion: Non-transported fallers have a high risk of future health service use for fall and other medical-related reasons. Interventions which address this risk need to be further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafab254
Number of pages10
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Emergency medicine
  • Health service use
  • Intervention
  • Linked data
  • Older fallers
  • Older people


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