Community-based programmes to prevent falls in children: A systematic review
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Objective: We systematically reviewed the literature to examine the evidence for the effectiveness of community-based interventions to reduce fall-related injury in children aged 0-16 years. Methods: We performed a comprehensive search of the literature using the following study selection criteria: community-based intervention study; target population was children aged 0-16 years; outcome measure was fall-related injury rates; and either a community control or historical control was used in the study design. Quality assessment and data abstraction were guided by a standardized procedure and performed independently by two authors. Results: Only six studies fitting the inclusion criteria were identified in our search and only two of these used a trial design with a contemporary community control. Neither of the high quality evaluation studies showed an effect from the intervention and while authors of the remaining studies reported effective falls prevention programmes, the pre- and post-intervention design, uncontrolled for background secular trends, makes causal inferences from these studies difficult. Conclusion: There is a paucity of research studies from which evidence regarding the effectiveness of community-based intervention programmes for the prevention of fall-related injury in children could be based.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health