STRIDE study results on fall injury prevention in older adults: PCORI Media Availability


Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among older Americans and lead to 3 million emergency department visits every year. About one out of every three adults age 65 or older falls each year. To assess the delivery and implementation of effective strategies for preventing these injuries, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health supported the STRIDE Study. As reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine, the STRIDE Study found that a personalized approach to falls risk reduction, in which nurses tailored falls prevention plans for older adults at high risk and administered these plans for at least 20 months, resulted in about an 8% to 10% reduction in serious fall injuries, but this effect was not statistically significant. Potential barriers to care, such as transportation availability and copayments and lack of engagement in reducing some risk factors, such as eliminating medications that increase falls risk, are among possible reasons the paper notes for the lesser effect size seen in the trial.

STRIDE was a multisite, randomized pragmatic trial. It was conducted at 86 primary care sites nationwide and included rural, urban, and suburban sites. The trial enrolled community-dwelling older adults at risk for falling who reflected the general population of older adults across the nation. Nurses trained as Falls Care Managers helped participants in the intervention group to identify their risk factors and select which risk reduction strategies they were willing and able to implement. Control group participants received their usual care plus educational material on falls information and were encouraged to discuss fall prevention with their primary care doctors, who also received the participants' risk factor screening results.

Spokespeople from PCORI can provide important context about this study, including:

Why there is the need for research assessing the most effective ways to deliver and promote the use of prevention strategies that have been shown to be useful in previous research

The importance of pragmatic studies for providing evidence about how well healthcare approaches work in everyday situations and circumstances

Providing background on patient-centered research and the value of engagement of healthcare decision makers in the research process


The following PCORI spokespeople are available for interviews by phone or email. The embargo lifts on Wednesday, July 8, at 5 p.m. ET.

Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH, Executive Director

Steven Clauser, PhD, MPA Program Director, Science


STRIDE was led by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. The large trial enrolled more than 5,400 people who were at least 70 years old and had been injured from a fall, had fallen at least two times in the previous year, or were afraid of falling because of difficulty walking or balancing.

STRIDE was conducted after small-scale trials showed that interventions to reduce risk factors can reduce the rate of falls and fall injuries. STRIDE participants were asked to take steps to lessen one to three of seven risk factors using risk reduction strategies shown to be effective in prior research. In some cases, participants did not address important risk factors; therefore, it is possible that some participants' risk reduction may not have been optimal. The findings suggest that in typical clinical care settings, older adults may face difficulties that may affect their ability to select or follow optimal risk reduction interventions. Lessons learned from STRIDE can help inform the design and implementation of future clinical trials of fall injury risk reduction in various healthcare delivery settings.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute