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Occupational Therapist Intervention Study (OTIS)

OTIS is a multi-centre randomised controlled trial with an economic evaluation and nested qualitative study. It is evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of an occupational therapist delivered, home environment assessment and modification, to reduce falls among older people. 

The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme and is being led by Prof David Torgerson. The study is being coordinated by researchers at the University of York’s Trials Unit, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Oxford, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield, Queensland Health/James Cook University and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. We are also grateful to our patient representatives for their support with the study.

Falls and fall related injuries are common in older people and can have serious consequences. Approximately 30% of people over the age of 65 and 50% of those over the age of 80 will fall once a year. Most falls happen when people are at home. It is thought that environmental hazards such as slippery floors or poor lighting are a major contributor to falls. The OTIS study is finding out whether a home hazard assessment and modification delivered by an occupational therapist, can reduce the number of falls people over the age of 65 years have.

We will ask 1299 people, who have an increased risk of falling within the next 12 months to take part in the study. Participants will be randomised in a 2:1 ratio in favour of the control group. The control group will receive a falls prevention leaflet and usual care from their GP. The intervention group will receive the same leaflet as the control group and at least one environmental assessment by an occupational therapist to identify personal fall related hazards. Participants will complete monthly falls calendars and follow-up questionnaires at 4, 8 and 12 months. The primary outcome for the study is the number of falls per person.

If you would like to find out more about this study please contact:

Sarah Cockayne - or call 0800 915 0668

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Funder: National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme 
Sponsor: University of York
Start date: 01.07.2016
End date: 31.12.2019


Internal Staff

External Collaborators

  • Sallie Lamb - Co-applicant, University of Oxford
  • Avril Drummond - Co-applicant, University of Nottingham
  • Alison Pighills - Co-applicant, Queensland Health/ James Cook University
  • Shelley Crossland - Co-applicant, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
  • Clare Relton - Co-applicant, University of Sheffield

Interested in taking part?

We are currently looking for volunteers to take part in the OTIS study in the following areas:

  • York
  • Sheffield
  • Grimsby
  • Harrogate
  • Bradford
  • Hull 
  • East Riding
  • Eastbourne and Bexhill

In order to take part you must be over 65 years of age and either had a fall in past 12 months or worry about falling. If you are interested in taking part we would be happy to hear from you. However, unfortunately on this occasion we are unable to include the following people who:

  • Are unable to walk 10 feet today, with a walking aid if needed
  • Live in a residential or nursing home
  • Suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Have had a visit by an Occupational Therapist within the past 12 months or are due to have a visit because you have fallen.

If you would like to find out more about this study please contact the Trial Manager: Mrs Sarah Cockayne (



Trials and Statistics Research in the Department of Health Sciences