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Economic evaluations of falls prevention programs for older adults: a systematic review

Author(s)

OLIJ Branko F., et al

Publisher(s):

Blackwells Publishing

Objectives: To provide a comprehensive overview of economic evaluations of falls prevention programs and to evaluate the methodology and quality of these studies. Design: Systematic review of economic evaluations on falls prevention programs. Setting: Studies (N=31) of community‐dwelling older adults (n=25), of older adults living in residential care facilities (n=3), and of both populations (n=3) published before May 2017. Participants: Adults aged 60 and older. Measurements: Information on study characteristics and health economics was collected. Study quality was appraised using the 20‐item Consensus on Health Economic Criteria. Results: Economic evaluations of falls prevention through exercise (n = 9), home assessment (n = 6), medication adjustment (n = 4), multifactorial programs (n = 11), and various other programs (n = 13) were identified. Approximately two‐thirds of all reported incremental cost‐effectiveness ratios (ICERs) with quality‐adjusted life‐years (QALYs) as outcome were below the willingness‐to‐pay threshold of $50,000 per QALY. All studies on home assessment and medication adjustment programs reported favorable ICERs, whereas the results of studies on exercise and multifactorial programs were inconsistent. The overall methodological quality of the studies was good, although there was variation between studies. Conclusion: The majority of the reported ICERs indicated that falls prevention programs were cost‐effective, but methodological differences between studies hampered direct comparison of the cost‐effectiveness of program types. The results imply that investing in falls prevention programs for adults aged 60 and older is cost‐effective. Home assessment programs (ICERs < $40,000/QALY) were the most cost‐effective type of program for community‐dwelling older adults, and medication adjustment programs (ICERs < $13,000/QALY) were the most cost‐effective type of program for older adults living in a residential care facility. (Edited publisher abstract)


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