Study of Accidental Falls in the Elderly (SAFE)


Study of Accidental Falls in the Elderly
Manual of Operations

Mark C. Hornbrook, PhD, Principal Investigator and Project Director

Merwyn R. Greenlick, PhD, Co-Investigator

Darlene J. Wingfield, PT, MPA, Co-Investigator

Victor J. Stevens, PhD, Co-Investigator

Jack F. Hollis, PhD, Co-Investigator

The overall aims of this research and demonstration project were to develop and evaluate a comprehensive approach to prevention of unintentional falls among older persons, to obtain a better understanding of the epidemiology of falls and associated injuries, and to develop improved estimates of the costs of medical and rehabilitation care for fall-related injuries in older populations.

The specific aims of this study were as follows:

  • To determine the effectiveness of a comprehensive falls prevention program in reducing the incidence of falls and associated medical care use and cost among an ambulatory, non-institutionalized population of older persons, and in maintaining their health and functional status.
  • To estimate the cost-effectiveness of this falls prevention program if it is found to be effective.
  • To estimate the net financial benefit (or cost) to an HMO and to the Medicare program of a given level of falls prevention for a defined target population age 65 and over.
  • To identify the antecedents and consequences of falls in this target population.
  • To develop an improved method of predicting risk of falls in a population of older persons.
  • To develop profiles of the types of injuries and medical care use associated with different types of falls.
  • To estimate the increase in efficacy of falls-risk screening needed to achieve specified cost-effectiveness performance criteria.

Center for Health Research- Kaiser Permanente

3800 North Interstate Avenue

Portland, OR 97227-1110