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A structured and individualised safety programme reduced falls in high risk nursing home patients

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To determine whether a multicomponent individualised intervention programme designed to modify suboptimal safety practices prevents falls and associated injuries in high risk patients in nursing homes.


1 year, randomised controlled trial.


14 nursing homes (7 pairs) in Tennessee, USA, matched for number of beds. Nursing homes had 80–250 beds, had no specialised psychiatric or short stay skilled nursing care, used moderate to high levels of psychotropic drugs, and had administrative stability (no current vacancy and ≤3 turnovers in administrative positions during the previous 18 mo).


1933 patients lived in the 14 nursing homes. 499 patients (232 in study homes and 267 in control homes) were assessed by the study team to be at high risk for falls and were included in the study. Exclusion criteria …

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  • Sources of funding: in part, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; with equipment donations from North Coast Medical Inc, DeRoyal Industries Ottobock, and Orthopaedic Industry.

  • For article reprint: Dr W A Ray, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. Fax +1 615 343 8722.