Preventing falls at home among people with intellectual disabilities: a scoping review

Doherty, Alison orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3593-8069, Benedetto, Valerio orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4683-0777, Harris, Catherine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7763-830X, Ridley, Julie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0879-308X, Odonoghue, Annette, James-Jenkinson, Lynn, Fidler, Dave and Clegg, Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8938-7819 (2023) Preventing falls at home among people with intellectual disabilities: a scoping review. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities . ISSN 1360-2322

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Falls are common among people with intellectual disabilities. Many falls happen within the home. Our scoping review aimed to identify evidence for falls-risk factors and falls-prevention interventions for this population.

We conducted a multi-database search to identify any type of published study that explored falls risk factors or falls-prevention interventions for people with intellectual disabilities. Following a process of (i) title & abstract and (ii) full-text screening, data was extracted from the included studies and described narratively.

Forty-one studies were included. Risks are multifactorial. There was limited evidence of medical, behavioural/psychological, or environmental interventions to address modifiable risk factors, and no evidence of the interventions’ cost-effectiveness.

Clinically and cost effective, acceptable and accessible falls-prevention pathways should be available for people with intellectual disabilities who are at risk of falls from an earlier age than the general population.

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