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Invited Commentary
July 12, 2010

Why Multifactorial Fall-Prevention Interventions May Not Work: Comment on “Multifactorial Intervention to Reduce Falls in Older People at High Risk of Recurrent Falls”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(13):1117-1119. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.193

This well-done study by de Vries et al reports no significant decrease in falls with a multifactorial fall-prevention intervention. This is not the first negative study; there have been plenty. However, before we toll the death knell for multifactorial interventions as a prevention strategy, we need to figure out why multifactorial interventions appear to work in some studies but not others. What makes a multifactorial intervention succeed in reducing falls? Success may depend on 3 constructs: content, process, and choice of target group.

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