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501 Can the provision of a home help service for the elderly population reduce the incidence of fall-related injuries?
  1. Carl Bonander1,2,
  2. Johanna Gustavsson1,2,
  3. Finn Nilson1,2
  1. 1Division of Risk Management, Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Karlstad University, Sweden
  2. 2Centre for Public Safety, Karlstad University, Sweden


Background Fall-related injuries are a global public health problem, especially in elderly populations. In this study, the effect of an intervention aimed at reducing the risk of falls in the homes of community-dwelling elderly persons was evaluated. The intervention, which involves home hazards reduction by providing a minor home help service, is provided in the majority of Swedish municipalities.

Methods Intention-to-treat effect estimates were derived using quasi-experimental time series intervention (ITS) analysis for immediate effects and a difference-in-discontinuity (RD) design for long term effects, and community-level estimates were pooled using meta-analysis. The outcome measure was the incidence of fall-related hospitalizations in the treatment population, the age of which varied by municipality (≥65 years, ≥67 years, ≥70 years or ≥75 years).

Results We found no statistically significant reductions in injury incidence in the ITS (IRR 1.01 [95% CI: 0.98–1.05]) or RD (IRR 1.00 [95% CI: 0.97–1.03]) analyses. The results are robust to several different model specifications, including segmented panel regression analysis with linear trend change and community fixed effects parameters.

Conclusions It is unclear whether absence of an effect is due to a low efficacy of the home hazards modifications provided, or a result of low utilisation. Additional studies of the effects on other quality of life measures are recommended before conclusions are drawn regarding the cost-effectiveness of the provision of home help services.

  • Falls
  • injury prevention
  • quasi-experiment
  • time series analysis
  • econometric analysis

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