Incidence of falls requiring primary care contacts – a population based study in Finland

The incidence of falls leading to hospital visits has been addressed in several studies but there are few data on falls that require primary care contact.  The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of falls leading to primary care contacts. This population based study of falls requiring contact to primary care was conducted in Leppävirta municipality during 12 months in years 2010 -2011. Demographic data were obtained from Statistics Finland, and the detailed information on health data from the computerized primary care medical records.      

The Geriatric Multidisciplinary Strategy for the Good Care of the Elderly (GeMS) Study 

The GEMS study is a randomised controlled intervention study which evaluated effects of annual geriatric assessment and optimisation of care on for example medication and functional performance. The study sample (n=1000) was randomly selected from all persons aged ≥75 years living in Kuopio in 2003. Participant were randomized in to the intervention (n=500) and control group (n=500). Of these 1000 persons, 781 persons provided consent to participate. The participants were interviewed and tested by a study nurse and physiotherapist. Those participants randomised to the intervention arm of the study received a comprehensive geriatric assessment including clinical examination by a study physician annually in 2004-2006. Individual tailored interventions included nutrition, oral health, medication assessment, and strength and mobility training. Control group was interviewed by study nurse and tested by study physiotherapist and otherwise they received services of standard care. Final measures were conducted in 2007.

There are several completed PhD projects based on GeMS data. Until now, results have been reported in about 60 publications in leading international medical and scientific journals. The study was supported by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland and the City of Kuopio.