One hundred and seventy-seven studies were included (it was not possible to extract information on total sample size, but sizes were reported to range from 40 to 11,390 participants). Seventy-one studies reported data on risk factors associated with psychotropic drugs. All studies were observational studies: cohort studies of evidence Level 2 (32 studies); case-control studies of level 3 (15 studies); and cross-sectional studies of level 4 (24 studies).
Use of psychotropic drugs significantly increased the risk of falls (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.57 to 2.01). The authors reported that there was evidence of statistical heterogeneity that disappeared with subgroup analysis.
Psychotropic drugs significantly increased risk of falls in subgroups of drugs examined: antidepressants (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.46 to 1.73; 27 studies); benzodiazepines (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.54; 14 studies), hypnotics (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.40 to 1.69; 23 studies); neuroleptics (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.32 to 1.71; 15 studies); and tranquilizers (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.67; eight studies).
Further results of subgroup analyses were reported in the paper. No evidence of publication bias was found, except for meta-analysis of antidepressants.