The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced a five-year national study of the effectiveness of a multi-pronged strategy that includes deploying nurses or nurse practitioners trained as “falls care managers” to provide older adults with individually tailored, evidence-based care plans to help them avoid falls and related injuries.
The trial will test the effectiveness of deploying falls care managers to develop and deliver evidence-based prevention plans tailored to the specific risks of each individual and to monitor patients’ outcomes in consultation with their primary care providers. The rate of fall-related injuries among study participants receiving the experimental approach will be compared to the injury rate among similar patients who receive only risk assessments and educational material from their primary care physicians.
The five-year trial will recruit 6,000 adults age 75 and older who have one or more risk factors for falls. Diverse populations from community-based primary care practices affiliated with 10 healthcare delivery systems located in rural, urban, and suburban communities across the country will be represented.
The trial will be carried out in two stages, starting with a one-year protocol development and refinement phase. Based their review of phase 1 results, PCORI and NIH will together decide if the study will proceed to the implementation phase in years 2 through 5.