The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Cost-effectiveness: Falls prevention in high-risk elderly

    Falls prevention programs reduce the risk in older people. But are they cost-effective?

    Researchers in the UK evaluated the fiscal benefits.

    First, the details.

    • 364 seniors at high risk of falling and living in the community received a falls prevention information leaflet.
    • They were divided into 2 groups.
      • A day hospital multidisciplinary falls prevention program, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nurse, medical review, and referral to other specialists
      • A control group
    • Self-reported falls were recorded in 12 monthly diaries.
    • Levels of health resource use were monitored.
    • Mean NHS costs and falls per person per year were estimated for both groups.

    And, the results.

    • The average falls program cost was £349 ($488) per person.
    • This, coupled with higher screening and other health-care costs, resulted in a average incremental cost of £578 ($808) for those in the falls prevention program.
    • The average rate of falls was lower in the falls prevention group (2.07 per person/year) vs the control group (2.24).
    • The estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was £3,320 ($4645) per fall averted.
      • Cost-effectiveness ratio compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of two or more courses of action.

    The bottom line?

    Based on the reported benefits, the authors recommended; “future research should focus on adherence to the intervention and an assessment of impact on quality of life.”

    Earlier this year, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, applied a mathematical epidemiological model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of several fall prevention options. They concluded that based on the greatest evidence, home modifications provide the best value.

    10/21/10 20:39 JR

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