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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 May;23(5):504-10.

The effects of multifactorial fall prevention on depressive symptoms among the aged at increased risk of falling.

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The Institute of Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



The aim was to determine the effects of multifactorial fall prevention on depressive symptoms among aged Finns at increased risk of falling.


This study is part of a multifactorial fall prevention trial with a randomised controlled design implemented in the town of Pori, western Finland. The study population consisted of ambulatory, 65-year-old or older Finns, with moderate or high cognitive and physical abilities who had fallen at least once during the previous 12 months. The participants (n=591) were randomised into a risk-based multifactorial fall prevention programme (intervention group, IG) or into a one-time counselling group (control group, CG). The 1-year intervention included individual geriatric assessment followed by treatment recommendations, individual guidance regarding fall prevention, physical exercise in small groups twice a month, psychosocial group activities and lectures once a month, home-exercises and home hazard assessment. The outcome, depressive symptoms, was measured by the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).


The full GDS data with no missing items were available for 464 persons. A significant decrease in depressive symptoms during the 12-month intervention was found both in IG and in CG, but the difference in change was not significant (p=0.110). However, a significant difference in change between the groups was found among men and older subjects (>or=75) in favour of the IG.


Multifactorial fall prevention had no effects on depressive symptoms among the community-dwelling aged. However, men and older participants benefited from the intervention.

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