Efficacy of a student-led, community-based, multifactorial fall prevention program: Stay in balance

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Falls are a major public health concern in older adults. Recent fall prevention guidelines recommend the use of multifactorial fall prevention programs (FPPs) that include exercise for community-dwelling older adults; however, the availability of sustainable, community-based FPPs is limited. Methods: We conducted a 24-week quasi-experimental study to evaluate the efficacy of a community-based, multifactorial FPP [Stay in Balance (SIB)] on dynamic and functional balance and muscular strength. The SIB program was delivered by allied health students and included a health education program focused on fall risk factors and a progressive exercise program emphasizing lower-extremity strength and balance. All participants initially received the 12-week SIB program, and participants were non-randomly assigned at baseline to either continue the SIB exercise program at home or as a center-based program for an additional 12 weeks. Adults aged 60 and older (n = 69) who were at-risk of falling (fall history or 2+ fall risk factors) were recruited to participate. Mixed effects repeated measures using Statistical Application Software Proc Mixed were used to examine group, time, and group-by-time effects on dynamic balance (8-Foot Up and Go), functional balance (Berg Balance Scale), and muscular strength (30 s chair stands and 30 s arm curls). Non-normally distributed outcome variables were log-transformed. Results: After adjusting for age, gender, and body mass index, 8-Foot Up and Go scores, improved significantly over time [F(2,173) = 8.92, p = 0.0; T0 - T2 diff = 1.2 (1.0)]. Berg Balance Scores [F(2,173) = 29.0, p < 0.0001; T0 - T2 diff = 4.96 (0.72)], chair stands [F(2,171) = 10.17, p < 0.0001; T0 - T2 diff = 3.1 (0.7)], and arm curls [F(2,171) = 12.7, p < 0.02; T0 - T2 diff = 2.7 (0.6)] also all improved significantly over time. There were no significant group-by-time effects observed for any of the outcomes. Conclusion: The SIB program improved dynamic and functional balance and muscular strength in older adults at-risk for falling. Our findings indicate continuing home-based strength and balance exercises at home after completion of a center-based FPP program may be an effective and feasible way to maintain improvements in balance and strength parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume5
Issue numberFEB
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 27 2017

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Balance
  • Exercise or physical activity
  • Fall prevention
  • Health promotion
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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