The REFORM study protocol: a cohort randomised controlled trial of a multifaceted podiatry intervention for the prevention of falls in older people

Sarah Cockayne, Joy Ann Adamson, Belén Corbacho Martín, Caroline Marie Fairhurst, Catherine Elizabeth Hewitt, Kate Hicks, Robin Hull, Anne Maree Keenan, Sarah E Lamb, Lorraine Ruth Loughrey, Caroline McIntosh, Hylton B Menz, Anthony C Redmond, Sara Anita Rodgers, Wesley Vernon, Jude Watson, David John Torgerson, REFORM study

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INTRODUCTION: Falls and fall-related injuries are a serious cause of morbidity and cost to society. Foot problems and inappropriate footwear may increase the risk of falls; therefore podiatric interventions may play a role in reducing falls. Two Cochrane systematic reviews identified only one study of a podiatry intervention aimed to reduce falls, which was undertaken in Australia. The REFORM trial aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a multifaceted podiatry intervention in reducing falls in people aged 65 years and over in a UK and Irish setting.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This multicentre, cohort randomised controlled trial will recruit 2600 participants from routine podiatry clinics in the UK and Ireland to the REFORM cohort. In order to detect a 10% point reduction in falls from 50% to 40%, with 80% power 890 participants will be randomised to receive routine podiatry care and a falls prevention leaflet or routine podiatry care, a falls prevention leaflet and a multifaceted podiatry intervention. The primary outcome is rate of falls (falls/person/time) over 12 months assessed by patient self-report falls diary. Secondary self-report outcome measures include: the proportion of single and multiple fallers and time to first fall over a 12-month period; Short Falls Efficacy Scale-International; fear of falling in the past 4 weeks; Frenchay Activities Index; fracture rate; Geriatric Depression Scale; EuroQoL-five dimensional scale 3-L; health service utilisation at 6 and 12 months. A qualitative study will examine the acceptability of the package of care to participants and podiatrists.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The trial has received a favourable opinion from the East of England-Cambridge East Research Ethics Committee and Galway Research Ethics Committee. The trial results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and at conference presentations.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN68240461assigned 01/07/2011.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere006977
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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