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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999 Jul;47(7):850-3.

Psychotropic medication withdrawal and a home-based exercise program to prevent falls: a randomized, controlled trial.

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  • 1Dunedin School of Medicine, Otago Medical School, New Zealand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effectiveness of psychotropic medication withdrawal and a home-based exercise program in reducing falls in older people.

DESIGN:

A randomized controlled trial with a two by two factorial design.

SETTING:

Seventeen general practices in Dunedin, New Zealand.

PARTICIPANTS:

Women and men aged 65 years registered with a general practitioner and currently taking psychotropic medication (n = 93).

INTERVENTIONS:

Two interventions: (1) gradual withdrawal of psychotropic medication versus continuing to take psychotropic medication (double blind) and (2) a home-based exercise program versus no exercise program (single blind).

MEASUREMENTS:

Number of falls and falls risk during 44 weeks of follow-up. Analysis was on an intent to treat basis.

RESULTS:

After 44 weeks, the relative hazard for falls in the medication withdrawal group compared with the group taking their original medication was .34 (95% CI, .16-.74). The risk of falling for the exercise program group compared with those not receiving the exercise program was not significantly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS:

Withdrawal of psychotropic medication significantly reduced the risk of falling, but permanent withdrawal is very difficult to achieve.

PMID:
10404930
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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