The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Cost-effectiveness: Falls prevention in high-risk elderly

    Falls prevention programs reduce the risk in older people. But are they cost-effective?

    Researchers in the UK evaluated the fiscal benefits.

    First, the details.

    • 364 seniors at high risk of falling and living in the community received a falls prevention information leaflet.
    • They were divided into 2 groups.
      • A day hospital multidisciplinary falls prevention program, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nurse, medical review, and referral to other specialists
      • A control group
    • Self-reported falls were recorded in 12 monthly diaries.
    • Levels of health resource use were monitored.
    • Mean NHS costs and falls per person per year were estimated for both groups.

    And, the results.

    • The average falls program cost was £349 ($488) per person.
    • This, coupled with higher screening and other health-care costs, resulted in a average incremental cost of £578 ($808) for those in the falls prevention program.
    • The average rate of falls was lower in the falls prevention group (2.07 per person/year) vs the control group (2.24).
    • The estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was £3,320 ($4645) per fall averted.
      • Cost-effectiveness ratio compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of two or more courses of action.

    The bottom line?

    Based on the reported benefits, the authors recommended; “future research should focus on adherence to the intervention and an assessment of impact on quality of life.”

    Earlier this year, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, applied a mathematical epidemiological model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of several fall prevention options. They concluded that based on the greatest evidence, home modifications provide the best value.

    10/21/10 20:39 JR

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