Fall Incidence in Frail Older Women after Individualized Visual Feedback-Based Balance TrainingSihvonen S. · Sipilä S. · Taskinen S. · Era P.
Departments of aHealth Sciences and bMathematics and Statistics, University of Jyväskylä, and cLIKES-Research Center, Jyväskylä; dBrain Research and Rehabilitation Center Neuron, Kuopio, Finland
Background: The knowledge concerning balance training actually lowering fall rates among frail older persons is limited. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 4-week individualized visual feedback-based balance training on the fall incidence during 1-year follow-up among frail older women living in residential care. Methods: Twenty-seven older women from 2 residential care homes were randomized into exercise (n = 20) and control (n = 7) groups. Balance measurements were carried out before and after a 4-week training period and falls were monitored by monthly diaries for 1 year. An interview about fear of falling and physical activity was completed before and after the intervention and after the 1-year follow-up. Results: A positive effect of balance training on fall incidence was found. A dynamic Poisson regression model showed that during the follow-up the monthly risk of falling was decreased in the exercise group compared to controls (risk ratio 0.398, 95% CI 0.174–0.911, p = 0.029). In addition, the exercise group reported a reduced fear of falling and increased physical activity after a training period but these changes declined during the follow-up period. Conclusion: Individualized visual feedback-based balance training was shown to be a promising method for fall prevention among frail older women. High compliance (97.5%) with the training program showed that carefully targeted training programs can be carried out among older people with health limitations.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä
PO Box 35 (Viveca)
FI–40014 Jyväskylä (Finland)
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Received: September 8, 2003
Accepted: February 15, 2004
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 37
Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical and Behavioural Gerontoloy)
Vol. 50, No. 6, Year 2004 (Cover Date: November-December 2004)
Journal Editor: W. Meier-Ruge, Basel
ISSN: 0304–324X (print), 1423–0003 (Online)
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