OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifactorial fall prevention program in prespecified subgroups of nursing home residents. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a cluster-randomized, controlled trial. SETTING: Six nursing homes in Germany. PARTICIPANTS: Seven hundred twenty-five long-stay residents; median age 86; 80% female. INTERVENTION: Staff and resident education on fall prevention, advice on environmental adaptations, recommendation to wear hip protectors, and progressive balance and resistance training. MEASUREMENTS: Time to first fall and the number of falls. Falls were assessed during the 12-month intervention period. Univariate regression analyses were performed, including a confirmatory test of interaction. RESULTS: The intervention was more effective in people with cognitive impairment (hazard ratio (HR)=0.49, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.35-0.69) than in those who were cognitively intact (HR=0.91, 95% CI=0.68-1.22), in people with a prior history of falls (HR=0.47, 95% CI=0.33-0.67) than in those with no prior fall history (HR=0.77, 95% CI=0.58-1.01), in people with urinary incontinence (HR=0.59, 95% CI=0.45-0.77) than in those with no urinary incontinence (HR=0.98, 95% CI=0.68-1.42), and in people with no mood problems (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=0.41, 95% CI=0.27-0.61) than in those with mood problems (IRR=0.74, 95% CI=0.51-1.09). CONCLUSION: The effectiveness of a multifactorial fall prevention program differed between subgroups of nursing home residents. Cognitive impairment, a history of falls, urinary incontinence, and depressed mood were important in determining response.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Geriatr Soc

Publication Date





1092 - 1097


Accidental Falls, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cluster Analysis, Female, Germany, Homes for the Aged, Humans, Incidence, Long-Term Care, Male, Nursing Homes, Proportional Hazards Models, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Risk Factors