Falls Prevention in Older Adults: Counseling and Preventive Medication
Release Date: May 2012
Summary of Recommendations
|Community-Dwelling Older Adults, Aged 65 Years or Older|
The USPSTF recommends exercise or physical therapy and vitamin D supplementation to prevent falls in community-dwelling adults aged 65 years or older who are at increased risk for falls.
No single recommended tool or brief approach can reliably identify older adults at increased risk for falls, but several reasonable and feasible approaches are available for primary care clinicians. See the Clinical Considerations section for additional information on risk assessment.
|The USPSTF recommends the service. There is high certainty that the net benefit is moderate or there is moderate certainty that the net benefit is moderate to substantial.|
|Community-Dwelling Older Adults, Aged 65 and Older|
The USPSTF does not recommend automatically performing an in-depth multifactorial risk assessment in conjunction with comprehensive management of identified risks to prevent falls in community-dwelling adults aged 65 years or older because the likelihood of benefit is small. In determining whether this service is appropriate in individual cases, patients and clinicians should consider the balance of benefits and harms on the basis of the circumstances of prior falls, comorbid medical conditions, and patient values.
See the Clinical Considerations section for more information about providing this service for individual patients.
|The USPSTF recommends against routinely providing the service. There may be considerations that support providing the service in an individual patient. There is at least moderate certainty that the net benefit is small.|
Related Information for Consumers
- What You Can Do To Prevent A Fall - A message from AHRQ Director, Dr. Clancy, for consumers - Article
- Preventing Falls in Older Adults - Consumer Fact Sheet (2012)
- Vitamin D & Calcium to Prevent Fractures in Adults - Consumer Fact Sheet (2013)
- Information to share with your patient on Lowering Risk of Falling from www.healthfinder.gov
- Information to share with your patient on Osteoporosis from www.healthfinder.gov
Related Information for Health Professionals
- Fall Prevention in Community-Dwelling Older Adults - Clinical Summary of USPSTF Recommendation, 2012
- Vitamin D Supplementation for Prevention of Fractures and Falls - A Grid
- Osteoporosis Risk Assessment Instrument (ORAI)
- Screening for Osteoporosis - Clinical Summary of USPSTF Recommendation, 2011
- Fracture Risk Assessment Tool - FRAX
Internet Citation: Recommendation Summary. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. September 2014.