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BMJ. 1992 Apr 4;304(6831):888-90.

Can health visitors prevent fractures in elderly people?

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1
University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess whether intervention by a health visitor could reduce the number of fractures, over a four year period, in those aged 70 and over.

DESIGN:

Randomised, controlled trial; randomisation by household.

SETTING:

General practice in a market town.

SUBJECTS:

Of 863 patients aged 70 and over on the practice records, 674 were traced and successfully interviewed; 350 were assigned to the intervention group, 324 as controls.

INTERVENTION:

The people in the intervention group were allocated to the care of a health visitor. The approach was four pronged: assessment and correction of nutritional deficiencies, including reducing smoking and alcohol intake; assessment and referral of medical conditions such as heart block or inappropriate medication; assessment and correction of environmental hazards in the home such as poor lighting; assessment and improvement of fitness--for example, exercise classes for the moderately fit. The intervention continued for four years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Fracture rate over four years.

RESULTS:

The incidence of fractures was 5% (16/350) in the intervention group and 4% (14/324) in the control group (difference not significant).

CONCLUSIONS:

A health visitor visiting a group of people aged 70 and over and using simple preventive measures had no effect on the incidence of fractures.

PMID:
1392755
PMCID:
PMC1882829
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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