Consumer products and fall-related injuries in seniors.
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OBJECTIVE: To conduct an environmental scan to identify the scope of literature on consumer products and injuries in seniors and to fill in some of the information gaps by exploring the relationship between assistive devices (AD) and fall-related injuries. METHODS: The environmental scan included primary literature identified in Medline and EMBASE databases and grey literature was identified in Google and consumer product safety sites in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.Weighted logistic regression was then used to examine the relationship between socio-demographic factors, frailty indicators, and AD use at the time of the fall, and the type of health services utilized and psychological consequences of the fall based on data from the 2008-2009 Canadian Community Health Survey on Healthy Aging. RESULTS: The majority of the articles on consumer products and injuries reported secondary database sources and did not directly link the consumer product's influence on a given injury. We found AD use at the time of a fall was associated with hospitalization, worry about re-injury, and limiting one's activities due to this worry, even after adjustment for socio-demographic variables. When frailty variables were included in the model, however, AD use was no longer statistically significant. CONCLUSION: This study provides preliminary information on the relationship between AD use and fall-related outcomes. However, the current data are not sufficient to draw specific conclusions. More detailed questions regarding AD use for the entire population and additional questions regarding the contribution of the AD to the injury will help to provide a richer understanding of this relationship.
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