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BMJ. 2000 Mar 18;320(7237):754-8.

Effects of preventive home visits to elderly people living in the community: systematic review.

Author information

1
Research Division, Institute for Rehabilitation Research, PO Box 192, 6430 AD Hoensbroek, Netherlands. jolanda.vanhaastregt@irv.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects of preventive home visits to elderly people living in the community.

DESIGN:

Systematic review.

SETTING:

15 trials retrieved from Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane controlled trial register.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Physical function, psychosocial function, falls, admissions to institutions, and mortality.

RESULTS:

Considerable differences in the methodological quality of the 15 trials were found, but in general the quality was considered adequate. Favourable effects of the home visits were observed in 5 out of 12 trials measuring physical functioning, 1 out of 8 measuring psychosocial function, 2 out of 6 measuring falls, 2 out of 7 measuring admissions to institutions, and 3 of 13 measuring mortality. None of the trials reported negative effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

No clear evidence was found in favour of the effectiveness of preventive home visits to elderly people living in the community. It seems essential that the effectiveness of such visits is improved, but if this cannot be achieved consideration should be given to discontinuing these visits.

PMID:
10720360
PMCID:
PMC27318
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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