An Occupational Therapy Fall Reduction Home Visit Program for Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Hong Kong After an Emergency Department Visit for a Fall

Mary Man Lai Chu, Nai Kuen Fong, Albert Chau Hung Lit, Timothy Hudson Rainer, Stella Wai Chee Cheng, Frederick Lap Yan Au, Henry Kwok Kwong Fung, Chit Ming Wong, Hon Kuan Tong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Design: Single-blind, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial. Settings: EDs in three acute care hospitals in Hong Kong. Participants: Individuals aged 65 and older who had fallen (N = 311). Interventions: After screening for eligibility, 204 consenting individuals were randomly assigned to an intervention group (IG) and received a single home visit from an occupational therapist (OT) within 2 weeks after discharge from the hospital or a control group (CG) and received a well-wishing visit from a research assistant not trained in fall prevention. Measurements: Both groups were followed for 12 months through telephone calls made every 2 weeks by blinded assessors with a focus on the frequency of falls. Another blinded assessor followed up on their status with telephone calls 4, 8, and 12 months after ED discharge. Prospective fall records on hospital admissions were retrieved from electronic databases; 198 individuals were followed for 1 year on an intention-to-treat basis. Results: The percentage of fallers over 1 year was 13.7% in the IG (n = 95) and 20.4% in the CG (n = 103). There were significant differences in the number of fallers (P =.03) and the number of falls (P =.02) between the two groups over 6 months. Significant differences were found in survival analysis for first fall at 6 months (log-rank test 5.052, P =.02) but not 9 or 12 months. Conclusion: One OT visit after a fall was more effective than a well-wishing visit at reducing future falls at 6 months. A booster OT visit at 6 months is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • emergency department
  • falls reduction
  • home visit
  • occupational therapy
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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