previously, a randomised controlled exercise intervention study (RCT) showed that combined resistance and balance-jumping training (COMB) improved physical functioning and bone strength. The purpose of this follow-up study was to assess whether this exercise intervention had long-lasting effects in reducing injurious falls and fractures.
five-year health-care register-based follow-up study after a 1-year, four-arm RCT.
community-dwelling older women in Finland.
one hundred and forty-five of the original 149 RCT participants; women aged 70-78 years at the beginning.
participants' health-care visits were collected from computerised patient register. An injurious fall was defined as an event in which the subject contacted the health-care professionals or was taken to a hospital, due to a fall. The rate of injured fallers was assessed by Cox proportional hazards model (hazard ratio, HR), and the rate of injurious falls and fractures by Poisson regression (risk ratio, RR).
eighty-one injurious falls including 26 fractures occurred during the follow-up. The rate of injured fallers was 62% lower in COMB group compared with the controls (HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.85). In addition, COMB group had 51% less injurious falls (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.98) and 74% less fractures (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.97).
home-dwelling older women who participated in a 12-month intensive multi-component exercise training showed a reduced incidence for injurious falls during 5-year post-intervention period. Reduction in fractures was also evident. These long-term effects need to be confirmed in future studies.
Fear of falling has been linked to activity restriction, functional decline, decreased quality of life and increased risk of falling. Factors that distinguish persons with a high concern about falling from those with low concern have not been systematically studied.
This study aimed to expose potential health-related, functional and psychosocial factors that correlate with fear of falling among independently living older women who had fallen in the past year.
Baseline data of 409 women aged 70-80 years recruited to a randomised falls prevention trial (DEX) (NCT00986466) were used. Participants were classified according to their level of concern about falling using the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to explore associations between health-related variables, functional performance tests, amount of physical activity, quality of life and FES-I scores.
68% of the participants reported a moderate to high concern (FES-I = 20) about falls. Multinomial logistic regression showed that highly concerned women were significantly more likely to have poorer health and quality of life and lower functional ability. Reported difficulties in instrumental activities of daily living, balance, outdoor mobility and poorer quality of life contributed independently to a greater concern about falling.
Concern about falling was highly prevalent in our sample of community-living older women. In particular, poor perceived general health and mobility constraints contributed independently to the difference between high and low concern of falling. Knowledge of these associations may help in developing interventions to reduce fear of falling and activity avoidance in old age.
Falls and related injuries are a major public health concern in elderly people. Multifactorial interventions may result in significant reduction in falls but their effectiveness in prevention of fall-induced injuries at centre-based falls clinics is unclear. This study assessed the effectiveness of the multifactorial Chaos Clinic Falls Prevention Programme on rate of falls and related injuries of home-dwelling older adults.
This study was a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial concentrating on high risk individuals and their individual risk factors of falling. Home-dwelling elderly people aged 70 years or more were recruited to the Chaos falls clinics in the cities of Lappeenranta and Tampere in Finland between January 2005 and June 2009. 1314 participants with high-risk for falling and fall-induced injuries and fractures were randomised into intervention group (n=661) and control group (n=653). A multifactorial, individualized 12-month falls prevention programme concentrating on strength and balance training, medical review and referrals, medication review, proper nutrition (calcium, vitamin D), and home hazard assessment and modification was carried out in the intervention group. The main outcome measures were rates of falls, fallers, and fall-induced injuries.
During the one-year follow-up, 608 falls occurred in the intervention group and 825 falls in the control group. The rate of falls was significantly lower in the intervention group (95 falls per 100 person-years) than in the controls (131 falls per 100 person-years), the incidence rate ratio (IRR) being 0.72 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-0.86, p