Category: Geriatric Rehabilitation; International; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
Objective(s) : Falls are common public health problems facing older adults. Limited research has produced conflicting evidence on the fall prevalence among older adults in the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the prevalence and risk factors of falls in older adults living in the GCC countries.
Data Sources : PubMed, Web of Science, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and SCOPUS were searched from inception through October 2018.
Study Selection : Observational studies published in peer-reviewed journals that examine prevalence, risk factors, or consequences of falls in the GCC with participants > 60 years old were eligible.
Data Extraction : Outcomes were the number of falls, number of fallers, and rate of falls. Two investigators double coded the extracted data to ensure data accuracy and scored quality using Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale.
Data Synthesis : Six studies with a total of 2984 participants were included. Of the six included studies, four were conducted in Saudi Arabia, one was conducted in Qatar, and one was conducted in the United Arab of Emirates. Study quality ranged from 1 to 4, indicating low quality studies. A random-effects meta-analysis on the six included studies estimated a pooled prevalence fall rate of 46.9% with a standard error of 3.3%. Falls were associated with older age, female gender, low educational level, and number of medications.
Conclusions : The current study shows a high prevalence of falls in older adults living in the GCC countries. Risk factors in the current study must be interpreted with caution, since some of the included studies did not report factors. The current study provides insight about how falls in older adults is understudied in the GCC countries.
Aqeel Alenazi– Lecturer, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Kansas City, Missouri
Bader Alqahtani– Assistant Professor, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jeffrey Hoover– Graduate Student/Graduate Research Assistant, University of Kansas
Mohammed Alshehri– Research assistance, KUMC, Lenexa, Kansas