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Shock-absorbing flooring for fall-related injury prevention in older adults and staff in hospitals and care homes: the SAFEST systematic review

Drahota, Amy, Felix, Lambert M., Raftery, James, Keenan, Bethany ORCID:, Lachance, Chantelle C., Mackey, Dawn C., Markham, Chris, Laing, Andrew C., Farrell-Savage, Kirsten and Okunribido, Olanrewaju 2022. Shock-absorbing flooring for fall-related injury prevention in older adults and staff in hospitals and care homes: the SAFEST systematic review. Health Technology Assessment 25 (5) 10.3310/ZOWL2323

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Background: Injurious falls in hospitals and care homes are a life-limiting and costly international issue. Shock-absorbing flooring may offer part of the solution; however, evidence is required to inform decision-making. Objectives: The objectives were to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of shock-absorbing flooring for fall-related injury prevention among older adults in care settings. Review methods: A systematic review was conducted of experimental, observational, qualitative and economic studies evaluating flooring in care settings targeting older adults and/or staff. Studies identified by a scoping review (inception to May 2016) were screened, and the search of MEDLINE, AgeLine and Scopus (to September 2019) was updated, alongside other sources. Two independent reviewers assessed risk of bias in duplicate (using Cochrane’s Risk of Bias 2.0 tool, the Risk Of Bias In Non-randomized Studies–of Interventions tool, or the Joanna Briggs Institute’s qualitative tool). Results: Of 22 included studies, 20 assessed the outcomes (three randomised controlled trials, and seven observational, five qualitative and five economic studies), on novel floors (n=12), sports floors(n=5), carpet (n=5) and wooden subfloors (n=1). Quantitative data related to 11,857 patient/resident falls (nine studies) and 163 staff injuries (one study). Qualitative studies included patients/residents (n=20), visitors (n=8) and staff (n=119). Hospital-based randomised controlled trial data were too imprecise; however, very low-quality evidence indicated that novel/sports flooring reduced injurious falls from three per 1000 patients per day on vinyl with concrete subfloors to two per 1000patients per day (rate ratio 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.36 to 0.84; two studies), without increasing falls rates (two studies). One care home-based randomised controlled trial found that a novel underlay produces similar injurious falls rates (high-quality evidence) and falls rates (moderate-quality evidence)to those of a plywood underlay with vinyl overlays and concrete subfloors. Very low-quality data demonstrated that, compared with rigid floors, novel/sports flooring reduced the number of falls resulting in injury in care homes (26.4% vs. 33.0%; risk ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.70 to0.91; three studies) and hospitals (27.1% vs. 42.4%; risk ratio 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.44 to

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: NIHR Journals Library
ISSN: 1366-5278
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 1 February 2021
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 22:13

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