Study protocol for investigating the impact of community home modification services on hospital utilisation for fall injuries: a controlled longitudinal study using data linkage
30 October 2018
Hollinghurst J, Akbari A, Fry R, Watkins A, Berridge D, Clegg A, Hillcoat-Nalletamby S, Williams N, Lyons R, Mizen A, Walters A, Johnson R, Rodgers S
BMJ Open (2018) 8:e026290
INTRODUCTION: This study will evaluate the effectiveness of home adaptations, both in preventing hospital admissions due to falls for older people, and improving timely discharge. Results will provide evidence for services at the interface between health and social care, informing policies seeking to promote healthy ageing through prudent healthcare and fall prevention.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: All individuals living in Wales, UK, aged 60 years and over, will be included in the study using anonymised linked data from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank. We will use a national database of home modifications implemented by the charity organisation Care & Repair Cymru (C&R) from 2009 to 2017 to define an intervention cohort. We will use the electronic Frailty Index to assign individual levels of frailty (fit, mild, moderate or severe) and use these to create a comparator group (non-C&R) of people who have not received a C&R intervention. Coprimary outcomes will be quarterly numbers of emergency hospital admissions attributed to falls at home, and the associated length of stay. Secondary outcomes include the time in moving to a care home following a fall, and the indicative financial costs of care for individuals who had a fall. We will use appropriate multilevel generalised linear models to analyse the number of hospital admissions related to falls. We will use Cox proportional hazard models to compare the length of stay for fall-related hospital admissions and the time in moving to a care home between the C&R and non-C&R cohorts. We will assess the impact per frailty group, correct for population migration and adjust for confounding variables. Indicative costs will be calculated using financial codes for individual-level hospital stays. Results will provide evidence for services at the interface between health and social care, informing policies seeking to promote healthy ageing through prudent healthcare and prevention.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Information governance requirements for the use of record-linked data have been approved and only anonymised data will be used in our analysis. Our results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. We will also work with lay members and the knowledge transfer team at Swansea University to create communication and dissemination materials on key findings.
Associate Professor Population Data Science Research at Swansea University
Based at Swansea University since 2008, Ashley plays a substantive role in major research programmes & projects utilising population-scale data, predominantly using the SAIL Databank. Championing...
Health data research
Health Data Science is a discipline that combines maths, statistics and technology to study different types of health problems using data. It provides the tools to manage and analyse very large...