Considerable evidence suggests that disability prevalence among older Americans has fallen, but less is known about how to promote further declines. This report develops and begins to demonstrate a framework for comparing population-level effects of interventions. We reviewed the literature for seven interventions and conducted simple modeling exercises. Evidence is strongest for exercise programs that increase strength, balance, and physical activity; depression screening with referral and feedback and therapy with pharmacologic treatment; and multi-factor fall prevention programs. Little evidence exists about the long-term effects of such interventions. Both short and long-term effects are critical when evaluating the population-level impact of such interventions.
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