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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Apr;81(4):247-52.

Benefits of home visits for falls and autonomy in the elderly: a randomized trial study.

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  • 1Medical Department, Geriatric hospital les Bateliers, Chru Lille, France.



To investigate whether home visits by a occupational therapist reduces the risk of falling and improves the autonomy of older patients hospitalized for falling.


In this randomized, controlled trial set in a geriatric hospital, 60 patients (mean age, 83.5 yr) who were hospitalized for falling were recruited from the acute medicine department. A home visit from an occupational therapist and an ergotherapist assessed patients' homes for environmental hazards and recommended modifications. The outcomes measured were falls, autonomy, hospitalization for falling, institutionalization, and death.


During the follow-up period, the rate of falls, hospitalization for falls, institutionalization, and death were not significantly different between the two groups. Both groups had a loss of dependence at 12 mo. This loss of dependence was significant in the control group but not in the intervention group.


Home visits from occupational therapists during hospitalization of older patients at risk for falling can help to preserve the patient's autonomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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