A randomised controlled trial of a home based strength and balance retraining program in older persons presenting to the emergency department with a fall or related injury

In BC, falls are the most common cause of injury leading to hospitalization of people over 65. Older people with fall-related injuries severe enough to require a visit to an emergency department are at particularly high risk of falling again and incurring further injuries. Current treatment guidelines encourage an extensive and costly course of care for these individuals, including physiotherapy, ophthalmology, family physician support and occupational therapy. Meghan Donaldson’s research has shown that many at-risk patients do not receive this course of care. Meghan is investigating whether a home-based strength and balance retraining program can prevent subsequent falls in people who have already been treated in an emergency department for a fall. The research could provide evidence that a simple and cost-effective exercise program, involving fewer referrals than what current guidelines call for, could successfully reduce falls in older adults at risk of injury due to falls.