A Five-Week Exercise Program Can Reduce Falls and Improve Obstacle Avoidance in the ElderlyWeerdesteyn V.a-c · Rijken H.a · Geurts A.C.H.c · Smits-Engelsman B.C.M.d · Mulder T.e · Duysens J.a-c
aSint-Maartenskliniek Research, Development and Education, Nijmegen; bInstitute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam; cDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Centre St. Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; dMotor Control Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; eCenter for Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
Do you have an account?
- Rent for 48h to view
- Buy Cloud Access for unlimited viewing via different devices
- Synchronizing in the ReadCube Cloud
- Printing and saving restrictions apply
Rental: USD 8.50
Cloud: USD 20.00
Article / Publication Details
Background: Falls in the elderly are a major health problem. Although exercise programs have been shown to reduce the risk of falls, the optimal exercise components, as well as the working mechanisms that underlie the effectiveness of these programs, have not yet been established. Objective: To test whether the Nijmegen Falls Prevention Program was effective in reducing falls and improving standing balance, balance confidence, and obstacle avoidance performance in community-dwelling elderly people. Methods: A total of 113 elderly with a history of falls participated in this study (exercise group, n = 79; control group, n = 28; dropouts before randomization, n = 6). Exercise sessions were held twice weekly for 5 weeks. Pre- and post-intervention fall monitoring and quantitative motor control assessments were performed. The outcome measures were the number of falls, standing balance and obstacle avoidance performance, and balance confidence scores. Results: The number of falls in the exercise group decreased by 46% (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.36–0.79) compared to the number of falls during the baseline period and by 46% (IRR 0.54, 95% CI 0.34–0.86) compared to the control group. Obstacle avoidance success rates improved significantly more in the exercise group (on average 12%) compared to the control group (on average 6%). Quiet stance and weight-shifting measures did not show significant effects of exercise. The exercise group also had a 6% increase of balance confidence scores. Conclusion: The Nijmegen Falls Prevention Program was effective in reducing the incidence of falls in otherwise healthy elderly. There was no evidence of improved control of posture as a mechanism underlying this result. In contrast, an obstacle avoidance task indicated that subjects improved their performance. Laboratory obstacle avoidance tests may therefore be better instruments to evaluate future fall prevention studies than posturographic balance assessments.
© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
Copyright / Drug Dosage / DisclaimerCopyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.