After stroke: the Cinderella of falls prevention research

Key message: There is a lack of evidence on interventions which aim to prevent falls in people after they have had a stroke. This is in contrast to good evidence on some effective  preventive measures for older people living in the community.

It’s Age UK’s annual Falls Awareness Week this week, with an emphasis this year on healthy feet. The excellent review from the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group on preventing falls in older people living in the community, which we blogged about when it was updated last autumn, has useful evidence on a range of strategies to prevent falls, including some relating to feet! Continue reading

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How best to prevent falls in older people in care homes and hospitals remains unclear despite large body of evidence

Key message: In care facilities, amongst people with low levels of vitamin D, vitamin D supplementation reduces the rate of falls. Evidence on other strategies to prevent falls in hospitals and care facilities is inconclusive. Continue reading

Preventing shingles in older adults: how effective and safe is vaccination? A new Cochrane review

  Key Message:Herpes zoster vaccine is effective in preventing shingles, with people aged 60 to 69 years benefitting more than older people but also experiencing more side effects. In general, the vaccine is well tolerated and most side effects are mild to moderate reactions at the injection site.  

Herpes zoster or ‘shingles’ is a painful condition, arising from the reactivation of varicella zoster virus, the virus that causes chicken pox. Older adults are particularly susceptible to shingles, which can last for weeks or months and have a significant impact on quality of life. A new review from the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group evaluated the effectiveness and safety of vaccination to prevent herpes zoster in adults aged sixty and over. The review includes eight randomized controlled trials with more than 52,000 participants but the main outcomes on effectiveness and safety come from the Shingles Prevention Study, a large trial with 38,546 participants, who were followed up for over three years. Continue reading

Keeping the over-65s on their feet: new review evidence tells us how

Keeping the over-65's on their feet

Keeping the over-65’s on their feet

The second review, from the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group, looked at falls prevention interventions for people aged over 65 living in the community. This review is really important for all those working to prevent falls in this population, around 30% of whom will fall each year.Key message: group exercise classes and exercises at home are amongst a number of strategies found to help prevent falls in people aged over 65 living in the community. Continue reading