A randomised controlled falls prevention trial of long distance glasses in elderly multifocal wearers [ 2005 - 2007 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Stephen Lord (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Ian Cameron Mark Haran Prof Rebecca Ivers Prof Judy Simpson

Brief description Each year, one-third to a half of people over 65 years old will fall at least once. The consequences of falls are immense in terms of suffering, loss of independence, fear of future falls, carer burden, mortality, residential care admissions and other health care resource usage. Clearly, effective and affordable falls prevention strategies are needed to address this major health care problem. Over 50% of people over 65 years old use bi-, tri- or multi-focal glasses. The lower part of these glasses are useful for reading and seeing at close range only and there is now evidence that the use of these glasses is associated with an increased risk of falls due to the blurring of vision when looking through the lower lenses at ground level obstacles. This is particularly relevant in unfamiliar outdoor situations. This study will determine whether providing plain distance glasses (with extensive counselling and recommendations for use in standing and walking activities) will prevent falls and their consequences over a one year period in older persons who wear bi-, tri- or multi-focal glasses. Pilot studies suggest that most elderly bi-, tri-, or multi-focal wearers at risk for falls are willing to purchase and use a second pair of glasses if the benefit of new plain distance glasses for their vision is demonstrated. We expect that the results of the study will be incorporated into all relevant areas of clinical practice and public health strategies.

Funding Amount $AUD 493,000.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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