Increasing Vitamin D in aged care facilities to more than 800 IUs did not reduce falls – Oct 2020

Increasing the uptake of vitamin D supplement use in Australian residential aged care facilities: results from the vitamin D implementation (ViDAus) study

BMC Geriatrics volume 20, Article number: 383 (2020)
Pippy Walker, Annette Kifley, Susan Kurrle & Ian D. Cameron


Problems with the approach include:

  1. >800 IU is barely enough to have more benefit than than a placebo
  2. Need than just Vitamin D to reduce falls - such as exercise, protein, Magnesium, Vitamin K
  3. A gut-friendly form of vitamin D should be used for all seniors as many have digestive problems

Falls and Fractures category contains the following



Meta-analyses of Falls/Fractures

Seniors start with

390 items in Seniors

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Search VitaminDWIKI for "GAIT SPEED" 173 items as of Aug 2020
10 reasons why seniors need more vitamin D has the following

  1. Senior skin produces 3X less Vitamin D for the same sun intensity
  2. Seniors have fewer vitamin D receptors as they age
  3. Seniors are indoors more than than when they were younger
    • not as agile, weaker muscles; frail, no longer enjoy hot temperatures
    • (if outside, stay in the shade), however, seniors might start outdoor activities like gardening, biking, etc.
  4. Seniors wear more clothing outdoors than when younger
    • Seniors also are told to fear skin cancer/wrinkles
  5. Seniors often take various drugs which reduce vitamin D
  6. Seniors often have one or more diseases which consume vitamin D
  7. Seniors generally put on weight at they age - and a heavier body requires more vitamin D
  8. Seniors often (40%) have fatty livers – which do not process vitamin D as well
  9. Reduced stomach acid ==>less Magnesium needed to utilize vitamin D
    (would not show up on vitamin D test)
  10. Seniors with poorly functioning kidneys do not process vitamin D as well
    (would not show up on vitamin D test) 2009 full text online  Also PDF 2009
  11. Vitamin D is not as bioavailable in senior digestive systems (Stomach acid or intestines?)

 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Adequate (≥800 IU/day) vitamin D supplement use in Australian residential aged care facilities (RACFs) is variable and non-optimal. The vitamin D implementation (ViDAus) study aimed to employ a range of strategies to support the uptake of this best practice in participating facilities. The aim of this paper is to report on facility level prevalence outcomes and factors associated with vitamin D supplement use.

This trial followed a stepped wedge cluster, non-randomised design with 41 individual facilities serving as clusters pragmatically allocated into two wedges that commenced the intervention six months apart. This multifaceted, interdisciplinary knowledge translation intervention was led by a project officer, who worked with nominated champions at participating facilities to provide education and undertake quality improvement (QI) planning. Local barriers and responsive strategies were identified to engage stakeholders and promote widespread uptake of vitamin D supplement use.

This study found no significant difference in the change of vitamin D supplement use between the intervention (17 facilities with approx. 1500 residents) and control group (24 facilities with approx. 1900 residents) at six months (difference in prevalence change between groups was 1.10, 95% CI − 3.8 to 6.0, p = 0.6). The average overall facility change in adequate (≥800 IU/day) vitamin D supplement use over 12 months was 3.86% (95% CI 0.6 to 7.2, p = 0.02), which achieved a facility level average prevalence of 59.6%. The variation in uptake at 12 months ranged from 25 to 88% of residents at each facility. In terms of the types of strategies employed for implementation, there were no statistical differences between facilities that achieved a clinically meaningful improvement (≥10%) or a desired prevalence of vitamin D supplement use (80% of residents) compared to those that did not.

This work confirms the complex nature of implementation of best practice in the RACF setting and indicates that more needs to be done to ensure best practice is translated into action. Whilst some strategies appeared to be associated with better outcomes, the statistical insignificance of these findings and the overall limited impact of the intervention suggests that the role of broader organisational and governmental support for implementation should be investigated further.

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