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What are the main risk factors for falls amongst older people and what are the most effective interventions to prevent these falls?

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This report is Health Evidence Network’s response to a question from a decision-maker. It provides a synthesis of the best available evidence, including a summary of the main findings and policy options related to the issue. Fall prevention programmes can be effective in reducing the number of people who fall and the rate of falls. Targeted strategies aimed at behavioural change and risk modification for those living in the community appear to be most promising. Multifactorial intervention programmes that include risk factor assessment and screening have been shown to be effective. However, no screening tools have been rigorously validated across countries and further work is needed in this area. HEN, initiated and coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, is an information service for public health and health care decision-makers in the WHO European Region. Other interested parties might also benefit from HEN. This HEN evidence report is a commissioned work and the contents are the responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official policies of WHO/Europe. The reports were subjected to international review, managed by the HEN team.