(HealthDay News) — A brief home hazard removal program does not reduce the hazard of falls among community-dwelling older adults at high risk for falling, but it appears to reduce the rate of falls, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in JAMA Network Open.

Susan Stark, Ph.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of a behavioral intervention on fall risk among older adults receiving services from an Area Agency on Aging. The analysis included 310 older adults randomly assigned to either a home hazard removal intervention delivered over two weeks with a six-month booster or usual care.

The researchers observed no difference for the primary outcome of fall hazard (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 1.27). There was a 38% reduction in the rate of falling in the intervention group versus the control group (relative risk, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.40 to 0.95; P = 0.03). The rate of falls per person-year was 1.5 in the intervention group at 12 months and 2.3 in the control group. There were no significant differences observed in daily activity performance, falls self-efficacy, or quality of life.

“Exploratory cost analysis demonstrated that the intervention was potentially cost-effective for this high-risk population, with a 111% return on investment in healthcare savings,” the authors write.

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