Emergency Department Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries (ED STEADI) Program.

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BACKGROUND: Falls are among the leading cause of emergency department (ED) visits.

OBJECTIVE: We set out to determine whether using a bedside decision aid could decrease falls.

METHODS: This randomized controlled trial was conducted on those aged ≥ 65 years who were being discharged home and screened positive for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fall risk factor. Control-arm subjects were given a CDC brochure about falls. The active-arm subjects received a personalized decision aid intervention. Both groups were followed up via telephone.

RESULTS: A total of 200 subjects were enrolled and, after exclusions, 184 patients were analyzed. There were 76 male (41.3%) and 108 female (58.7%) subjects; 14% of the subjects chose to have their medications reviewed, 13.6% chose to have an eye examination, 22.8% chose to begin an exercise program, and the majority (44.6%) chose to have a home safety evaluation. Patients in the intervention arm chose more interventions to complete compared to control-arm subjects (p < 0.0001), but did not complete more interventions (p = 0.3387) and did not experience fewer falls compared to the control arm (p = 0.5675). At study conclusion, 73 subjects reported at least one fall during the study.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, in this study, subjects who had their fall-risk interventions facilitated by a decision tool chose to participate in interventions more than control subjects. However, they did not complete the interventions or fall less often than their counterparts in the control arm. Future study is needed to determine the effect of CDC screening guidelines and interventions facilitated by a decision aid on fall outcomes and their application in the ED population.




Emergency Medicine | Trauma



Peer Reviewed for front end display



Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine Residents, Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty

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