Quality statement 3: Multifactorial intervention
Older people assessed as being at increased risk of falling have an individualised multifactorial intervention. [new 2017]
The causes of falls are multifactorial, and the risk of falling appears to increase with the number of risk factors. Multifactorial falls risk assessment allows a person's risk factors to be identified. Multiple interventions can then target these specific risk factors and reduce several components of falls risk.
The following measures can be used to assess the quality of care or service provision specified in the statement. They are examples of how the statement can be measured, and can be adapted and used flexibly.
Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that older people assessed as being at increased risk of falling have an individualised multifactorial intervention.
Data source: Local data collection.
Proportion of older people assessed as being at increased risk of falling who have an individualised multifactorial intervention.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where the older person has received an individualised multifactorial intervention.
Denominator – the number of older people assessed as being at increased risk of falling.
Data source: Local data collection. Numerator sourced from individual patient records. Denominator sourced from information collected in multifactorial falls risk assessments.
a) Rates of falls in older people.
Data source: Local data collection based on reviews of individual care records.
b) Injuries due to falls in people aged 65 and over (age-sex standardised rate of emergency hospital admissions for injuries due to falls in people aged 65 and over per 100,000 population).
c) Proportion of older people who have received a multifactorial intervention for falls who feel able to manage activities of daily living.
Data source: Local data collection based on surveys of older people who have had a multifactorial intervention for falls.
Service providers (such as specialist falls services) ensure that systems and governance structures are in place to provide interventions to address people's individual risk factors when they are identified through multifactorial risk assessment; to coordinate interventions across different professionals and settings; and to ensure that appropriate staff perform the interventions.
Healthcare professionals (such as consultant geriatricians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and primary care practitioners) identify interventions to address an older person's specific risk factors established through a multifactorial falls risk assessment; discuss the interventions with the person and how they can be tailored to their needs; deliver the interventions; and document them in the patient's record.
Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups and NHS England) ensure that they commission services so that older people who are assessed as being at increased risk of falling receive an individualised multifactorial intervention based on multifactorial falls risk assessment.
Older people who have had an assessment that shows they are at increased risk of falling develop a plan with a healthcare professional to stop them from falling. This plan may include treating health problems, making changes at home, exercises to help their strength and balance, having their eyes checked and looking at whether any medicines they take should be changed.
Falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention. NICE guideline CG161 (2013), recommendation 18.104.22.168
A fall is defined as an event which causes a person to, unintentionally rest on the ground or other lower level. [NICE's clinical knowledge summary on falls – risk assessment]
Older people are those aged 65 and over living in their own home, or in an extended care setting such as a nursing home or supported accommodation. [Adapted from NICE's guideline on falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention]
People identified as being at increased risk of falling through a multifactorial falls risk assessment, which is an assessment with multiple components to identify a person's risk factors for falling. [Adapted from NICE's guideline on falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention]
An individualised multifactorial intervention is an intervention with multiple components that aims to address the risk factors for falling that are identified in a person's individual multifactorial assessment. Specific components common in successful multifactorial interventions are:
strength and balance training
home hazard assessment and intervention
vision assessment and referral
medication review with modification or withdrawal.
The following interventions are not recommended to address falls risk factors due to insufficient or conflicting evidence, although they may result in other health benefits:
low intensity exercise combined with incontinence programmes
group exercise (not individually prescribed)
cognitive behavioural interventions
referral for correction of visual impairment as a single intervention
[Adapted from NICE's guideline on falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention, recommendations 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52]