Promoting Declines in the Prevalence of Late-Life Disability: Comparisons of Three Potentially High-Impact Interventions

Research Report

Promoting Declines in the Prevalence of Late-Life Disability: Comparisons of Three Potentially High-Impact Interventions

Abstract

Although the prevalence of late-life disability has been declining, how to promote further reductions has been unclear. We developed an analytical framework that compares the effects of different interventions on the prevalence of late-life disability. We considered three potentially high-impact intervention strategies: physical activity programs, depression screening and treatment, and fall prevention. We conclude that in the short run multi-component fall-prevention efforts have the greatest impact. At present, longer-term impacts cannot be assessed based on the current literature and may differ from short-run conclusions, since increases in longevity may temper the effect intervention strategies have on prevalence of late-life disabilities. (Milbank Quarterly 84(3): 493-520, 2006.)

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