Research Article  |   May 2012
Systematic Review of the Effect of Home Modification and Fall Prevention Programs on Falls and the Performance of Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Author Affiliations
  • Carla A. Chase, EdD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Avenue, CHHS 5333, Kalamazoo, MI 49008; carla.chase@wmich.edu
  • Kathryn Mann, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Indianapolis
  • Sarah Wasek, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Ingham County Medical Center and Rehabilitation, Lansing, MI
  • Marian Arbesman, PhD, OTR/L, is Consultant, AOTA Evidence-Based Practice Project; President, ArbesIdeas, Inc.; and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Williamsville
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Evidence-Based Practice / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Home Accessibility/Environmental Modification / Special Issue on the Relationship Between Occupation and Productive Aging
Research Article   |   May 2012
Systematic Review of the Effect of Home Modification and Fall Prevention Programs on Falls and the Performance of Community-Dwelling Older Adults
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2012, Vol. 66, 284-291. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.005017
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2012, Vol. 66, 284-291. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.005017
Abstract

This systematic review explored the impact of fall prevention programs and home modifications on falls and the performance of community-dwelling older adults. It was conducted as part of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Evidence-Based Practice Project. Thirty-three articles were analyzed and synthesized. The strongest results were found for multifactorial programs that included home evaluations and home modifications, physical activity or exercise, education, vision and medication checks, or assistive technology to prevent falls. Positive outcomes included a decreased rate of functional decline, a decrease in fear of falling, and an increase in physical factors such as balance and strength. The strength of the evidence for physical activity and home modification programs provided individually was moderate. Implications for practice, education, and research are also discussed.