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Public Health. 2001 Sep;115(5):308-16.

Evaluation of an inter-organizational prevention program against injuries among the elderly in a WHO Safe Community.

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Department of Health and Environment, Linköping University, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the outcome of a participatory community-based prevention program against injuries among the elderly. A population-based quasi-experimental design was used with pre- and post-implementation measurements in an intervention and a control area. The program was based on cross-sectoral participation in detecting and taking action against injuries among the elderly. Change in the relative risk of injury was estimated by the odds ratio. Morbidity in moderately (AIS 2) severe injury in the study area was reduced from 46 per 1000 population years to 25 per 1000 population years (odds ratio 0.55; 95% confidence interval 0.46-0.65), while the minor (AIS 1) injuries increased (odds ratio 1.55; 95% confidence interval 1.21-1.91). The risk of severe or fatal (AIS 3-6) injuries remained constant. In the study area, only a slight decrease in the total morbidity rate was observed (odds ratio 0.87; 95% confidence interval 0.77-0.99). In the control area, there was no evident change in the total morbidity rates. Falls decreased or showed a tendency to decrease in the age groups 65 to 79-y-old in the study area, while they increased in the older age group. The results indicate that no sharp boundaries should be drawn between safety education, physical conditioning, environmental adjustments and secondary prevention measures when planning safety promotion among the elderly. Future studies should address these issues along with the methodological complexity associated with assessment of participatory community-based safety promotion programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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