Exercise interventions for the improvement of falls-related outcomes among older adults with diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analyses

Anna Chapman, Claudia Meyer, Emma Renehan, Keith D. Hill, Colette J. Browning

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Falls as a complication of diabetes mellitus (DM) can have a major impact on the health of older adults. Previous reviews have demonstrated that certain exercise interventions are effective at reducing falls in older people; however, no studies have quantified the effectiveness of exercise interventions on falls-related outcomes among older adults with DM. Methods A systematic search for all years to September 2015 identified available literature. Eligibility criteria included: appropriate exercise intervention/s; assessed falls-related outcomes; older adults with DM. Effect sizes were pooled using a random effects model. Positive effect sizes favoured the intervention. Results Ten RCTs were eligible for the meta-analyses. Exercise interventions were more effective than the control condition for static balance (0.53, 95% CI: 0.13 to 0.93), lower-limb strength (0.63, 95% CI: 0.09 to 1.18), and gait (0.59, 95% CI: 0.22 to 0.96). No RCTs assessed falls-risk; one RCT reported 12 month falls-rate, with no differential treatment effect observed. Conclusion Exercise interventions can improve certain falls-related outcomes among older adults with DM. Substantial heterogeneity and limited numbers of studies should be considered when interpreting results. Among older adults, where DM burden is increasing, exercise interventions may provide promising approaches to assist the improvement of falls-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-645
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Balance training
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Exercise interventions
  • Falls
  • Older
  • Systematic review

Cite this