Open Access Study protocol

An individually-tailored multifactorial intervention program for older fallers in a middle-income developing country: Malaysian Falls Assessment and Intervention Trial (MyFAIT)

Pey June Tan1, Ee Ming Khoo2, Karuthan Chinna3, Keith D Hill46, Phillip JH Poi15 and Maw Pin Tan15*

Author Affiliations

1 Ageing and Age-Associated Disorders Research Group, Health and Translational Medicine Cluster, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Department of Primary Care Medicine, University of Malaya Primary Care Research Group (UMPCRG), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

5 Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

6 Health Promotion Division, National Ageing Research Institute, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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BMC Geriatrics 2014, 14:78  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-78

Published: 21 June 2014

Abstract

Background

In line with a rapidly ageing global population, the rise in the frequency of falls will lead to increased healthcare and social care costs. This study will be one of the few randomized controlled trials evaluating a multifaceted falls intervention in a low-middle income, culturally-diverse older Asian community. The primary objective of our paper is to evaluate whether individually tailored multifactorial interventions will successfully reduce the number of falls among older adults.

Methods

Three hundred community-dwelling older Malaysian adults with a history of (i) two or more falls, or (ii) one injurious fall in the past 12 months will be recruited. Baseline assessment will include cardiovascular, frailty, fracture risk, psychological factors, gait and balance, activities of daily living and visual assessments. Fallers will be randomized into 2 groups: to receive tailored multifactorial interventions (intervention group); or given lifestyle advice with continued conventional care (control group). Multifactorial interventions will target 6 specific risk factors. All participants will be re-assessed after 12 months. The primary outcome measure will be fall recurrence, measured with monthly falls diaries. Secondary outcomes include falls risk factors; and psychological measures including fear of falling, and quality of life.

Discussion

Previous studies evaluating multifactorial interventions in falls have reported variable outcomes. Given likely cultural, personal, lifestyle and health service differences in Asian countries, it is vital that individually-tailored multifaceted interventions are evaluated in an Asian population to determine applicability of these interventions in our setting. If successful, these approaches have the potential for widespread application in geriatric healthcare services, will reduce the projected escalation of falls and fall-related injuries, and improve the quality of life of our older community.

Trial registration

ISRCTN11674947

Keywords:
Accidental falls; Aged; Asians; Randomized controlled trial; Fear of falling; Quality of life