Twelve month follow up of a falls prevention program in older adults from diverse populations in Australia: a qualitative study

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Abstract

Several randomised trials demonstrate that multi dimensional falls prevention programs are effective in reducing falls in older adults. There is a need to examine the impact of these programs in real life settings where diverse populations exist. The aim of this study was to examine the acceptability and impact on sustained participation in falls prevention activities of a combined exercise and education falls prevention program. A semi structured telephone interview was conducted with 23 participants 12 months following the completion of a 15 week falls prevention program tailored to diverse communities in Victoria, Australia and provided in both a group and home based format. Reported benefits of the falls prevention program included physical improvements in joint flexibility, mobility and balance and enjoyment derived from both the exercises and socialisation. Recall of the educational component was minimal as were ongoing behavioral changes to reduce the risk of falling other than exercise. Participation in sustained exercise for falls prevention following the completion of the program was also inconsistent. Future improvements of such programs could focus upon ensuring the exercises prescribed are sufficiently challenging for each individual in order to be of physical benefit, altering the educational style to be goal directed and more enjoyable, and integrating further strategies to support sustained participation in falls prevention behavioral changes. Linking participants with alternate ongoing exercise opportunities or potential sources of ongoing support may be advantageous in enhancing long term participation in exercise for falls prevention following cessation of the progra
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283 - 292
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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